Saturday, 4 April 2015

Startled Snipes and Traffic Lights

I missed by alarm call for Parkrun by a mere 5 hours this morning, and was thus faced with a rather decapitated day. I still got out for a proper run though, on a much stiller day albeit with grey skies like billowing dirty sheets.

In the cemetery, life is changing again. The naughty spanish "whitebells" are starting to appear, and a few hyacinths too. However, the squill is now past its best, and the cycle of spring continues. Next up will be the bluebells, and then it will be over. The cemetery greenkeepers will chop all the verges back, the wilder flowers replaced by cultivated ones.

It was the Owl Road today,my planned cycle trip to the River Witham cancelled due to my sluggabed-ness, and the few daffodills spotted on the Hawton Works site made its bleakness all the more stark. But there was life; as I ran along I flushed up a snipe from the tangled long grass, the bird scolding me with a sharp "whooooooop" as it flew away low over the ground.

This is a new bird to me, but it was easily recognised by the white pinstripes down its back amidst the mottled browns, which distinguishes it from the woodcock I saw before nearer the Cotham Flash ponds. They are a common sight around here apparently.

A little further on a buzzard erupted from a tree just in front of me, and lazily flew off into the scrub.

Little else of note was seen until I was nearly home. As I approached a set of traffic lights, I noticed a small bird fly into the back of one of the posts, and then out again. I stood for a minute or two, and the opportunistic new resident was revealed. A blue tit was watching me from a tree, beak full of moss.

It was never going to fly in while I was so close to its nest, so I left the little bird to finish its homemaking, and made my way home for a welcome rest.


Hyacinth in the cemetery

Primrose carpet

Catkin of some sort (Willow?)

Rare colour in the owl country

Another Hawton village weather vane

First forget-me-not of 2015

Yellow hedge at Sconce Park

This is what makes the hedge yellow

Traffic light blue tit home


  1. Your observations whilst running are amazing! I would agree 'Willow' and the yellow hedge looks like Forsythia to me!

    A few years ago I came across Great Tits nesting in a hole in a metal farm gate post! Birds are amazing!

  2. Thanks for the complement, I think being keen on astronomy has helped train my eyes to be observant, I've got no idea. I love to spot new things out there. Too bad my mobile phone is not great at photography

  3. You are doing splendidly with your mobile phone pics...keep on snapping away!

  4. Thanks Paam, got some decent ones today