Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Spring Raptors on the Owl Road

Major achievement unlocked today - being out running before midday on my first day off shift!

It was sunny, but the forecast was rubbish for the later afternoon. I had to get moving to enjoy the best of the day. Sadly, as I headed out, I realised that a strongish wind might make my hopes for bumblebee and butterfly spotting rather dim.

As it happened, there were no bees at all, even in a cemetery where the crocuses are now in their full glory and mini-daffodils have now come into flower. Along the cycle path, I listened out for chiff chaffs, but they would only appear to be in song down south at the moment.

Of course, there were no owls on the owl road, there never are, and my chances of seeing a short-eared owl, known as the SEO by birders and so making them sound like new media raptors, are over for the season. There was a greyish wader I startled by Cotham Flash, but there was nothing on the water of note.

No all the fun stuff was up in the air. I lengthened my run along a bridleway, and was rewarded immediately by flushing a kestrel from the hedge, seemingly trailing goose grass from its leg, its pale chestnut back catching the sun. Further along the path, a buzzard took to the air at my approach, white underwings flashing, before it headed off towards a small flock of fieldfare in the corner of the field, only to be mobbed by crows for its passerine bothering troubles. And later, another was making a doomed attempt to soar on weak spring thermals over the Sconce earthwork.

But as you will see, there were yet even more terrifying aerial predators for me to encounter on my run...


Purple in the cemetery

Primrose grave

Mini daffs

Gloriously vivid lichen

The caravan graveyard by the cycle path

Spring on the owl road

Cotham Flash wetlands

Hawton bridle path


Grange Road fields

Also newly out - some species of cranesbill?

Sconce orchard blossom

After a titanic battle, I finally brought it down to earth, but at what a cost!


  1. Ha ha :) re: the Pterodactyl:) Lovely to see the Spring flowers in the churchyard - the first photo of the crocuses is stunning :) I think the blue flowers in photo 11 might be Periwinkle?

    1. Thanks! Cancer drug vinicristine comes from periwinkle family, I had no idea. I see a lot of it about this time of year, low down next to hedgerows usually. Probably a lot of garden escapees, fugitives from the hoe!

  2. If you've got dinosaurs flying in your neck of the woods you really can't complain at the lack of flutters and bumbles :o)

    I think your mystery flower is a Vinca, or periwinkle.

  3. Doh! Just read RRs comment! At least we agree :o)