Well, we were in action at the Elm Avenue ground today, my first game there. I wasn't supposed to be playing, and frankly my wrecked body was quietly hoping I'd get a day off today, but I got the call at 930 this morning when all I was thinking about was a post shift lie in.
Well I would have been thinking that. If I had been awake. Which I wasn't.
So I arrived at the ground, and we fielded first. It wasn't long before I noticed a flash of colour on the ground as I patrolled the region at square leg. At my feet, a little tawny mining bee - how many of those have I seen this year! - was hunting for a burrow near what I fervently hoped was not a very old and dried out dog turd.
These solitary bees are so attractive, with their russet throraxes and yellow striped abdomens. This male was also sporting its noticeably yellow legs as it trundled about the hard ground. I've loved spotting them this spring.
A thwacked six into the undergrowth meant a lot of trampling looking for the ball. We failed in this regard, but we did flush a few moths up, and perhaps disturbed some sleepy rodents or frogs, for not long afterwards, a kestrel made its way over the ground and hovered above that very spot, its long thin tail fanning out as it wings swept the air to maintain its position. No joy for the kestrel though, although I enjoyed watching it.
Wagtails came and strutted their tail wagging stuff on the outfield, but the most interesting birds on view were swallows swooping low over the grass, making their "prrrreeep" calls as they did so. They weren't just flying though, they were landing as well. I can't recall ever seeing a swallow on the ground before, so I wonder if it was gathering some nesting material? And ergo, where it was nesting?
Of course there are drawbacks to nature watching at cricket. Like missing an instruction from your skipper - oops did that - or missing a catch like the skipper did while I was bowling and he didn't even have an excuse; or perhaps getting so engrossed in birding that you get a ball in the face, as happened to one of our first teamers today.
Perhaps this distractibility is why I've never quite succeeded at team sport!
Copyright Cream Crackered Nature 30.05.15