April 26, 2021

My wife and I had the day off so we walked around Westhay Nature Reserve. So many warblers and so much sound! Numerous sightings, the most notable of which were the first hobby, common whitethroat and swifts of the year, plus house martins and a redpoll. Heard about 3 cuckoos. And good to see several pairs of great crested grebes and their nests. With all the busyness of late, it was good to have a chance to catch up and talk over a few things. Read more

April 11, 2021

Met up for a picnic and walk with friends yesterday. A somewhat chilly picnic but it warmed up as the afternoon went on. Just a relief to be able to get out and meet up. Quite busy, everyone enjoying their freedom but it was interesting how people were considerate, made an effort to maintain social distancing and most noticeably, seemed rather quiet and tired. Like we have all come out of our burrows, bleary-eyed and blinking in the sunshine. Read more

April 4, 2021

Sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine a short while ago we heard the chatter of a swallow and there it was, one of ours, on its favourite spot on the telephone wires.

April 3, 2021

Setting the clocks forward an hour last weekend should dictate that I have trouble waking up early enough. So as the exception to prove the rule, I have woken at about 4:30am most mornings since, which a week ago would have been 3:30am. Go figure. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for more swallows but none so far beyond the lone arrival on Tuesday. Thursday was exceptionally hazy with Saharan dust. Read more

March 30, 2021

Beautiful weather today. Blue skies, warm sun and a warm breeze. And on that presumably Mediterranean airflow, surprise surprise, my first swallow of the year.

March 9, 2021

Morning walk with the dog. Another bright and frosty one. Lots of bird activity. Heard my first blackcap of the year, so another spring migrant arrives. Still plenty of fieldfares, redwings and starlings. Over the weekend we had a flock of perhaps 3000 starlings hanging around, the biggest I’ve ever seen here. I had assumed it was part of the dispersal of the winter visitor population back to their summer grounds but according to this article in the Guardian it’s quite the opposite. Read more

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2022

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