Friday 14 February 2014

Who is Afraid of the Wind?

Well, it seems I am. I was going to head South along the Sustrans N64 to Cotham, and see where I went from there - Elston way? Or the Cotham Flash? As it happened, as soon as I hit an exposed part of the cycle path, and the head on wind and drizzle entered battle with my un-aerodynamic frame, I bailed at British Gypsum and turned with the wind. With a sense of relief.

Above me a kestrel took to the air, and sat motionless in the airstream, looking like the weapon of a superhero.

I decided to head for Hollowdyke Lane, and visit the little community hide at the back of Fernwood estate, an enjoyable and well looked after little "almost" nature reserve. A very chubby squirrel was busy launching an upside down raid on one of the feeders, and chaffinch, great tits and blue tits watched from the trees. I listened for the drumming of a woodpecker, as recorded on a little sheet in the hide, but no luck today.

I love this sort of small scale nature provision.

Back on my bicycle, I headed up the hill into Coddington, and stopped at the farmer's field by the converted windmill. It must be stuffed with goodies, because there are always birds here, and today there was a large number of handsome fieldfares, with their slate grey heads, pale belly and sturdy build, with a sprinkling of slenderer redwing and some blackbirds and starling too.

Then, I saw the sky going an even iller looking shade of grey, and raced home before it spewed its contents upon me.

Breakfast blue tit on the buddleiah outside my kitchen window
The attractive hide at Fernwood, Hollowdyke Lane

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