In honour of the first day of spring, with roads warmed by a bright sun, I headed out on my sad old Jupiter Trailblazer with the front brakes I have to adjust by hand while riding.
Every tree or television aerial seemed to have a blackbird singing on it, and plenty of small birds were crashing about in the undergrowth. Once again, many families with tiny kids riding bikes the size of cats were on the N64, as well as the inevitable "Freds" on their thousand pound Specializeds with all the flash gear.
No Nick at the landfill, but there weren't any gulls AT ALL when I rode past. On the Cotham - Elston road there didn't seem to be a lot of yellowhammers in the hedgerows, but I did come across a large flock of fieldfares in a field similar to the Coddington one. Such attractive birds, with their slate grey heads and chestnut breast. I suspect they will be gone with the first warm weather and south westerly winds of Spring, off to breed in Scandanavia.
There were some swans mooching around in a far corner of that same field, this sort of loose soiled farm field, with low level vegetatation, seems very attractive to birds.
A kestrel was watching me from a telegraph line the next field along. I thought a few buzzards might be about looking for thermals, but perhaps the weather was a little chilly for them, and indeed as I left Thorpe village - nearly colliding with a horsey girl driven car, some rain began to fall and a rainbow loomed across the bridge over the new A46.
But it wasn't a hard rain falling, and it didn't take away the enjoyment of having usefully spent another hour in the open air.