It was a better day today, a much better day, though it didn’t start off that way.
We nipped down to Lidl to look for Waxwings on our way to the farm, and found none. I hadn’t really expected to see any as it was extremely windy and the small branches were whipping about. It must be extremely hazardous feeding in tree tops on days like this.
Such is life: I’m not going to start stressing out about seeing a bird, even if it is pink and has a crest.
We cleared the polytunnel this morning, and are within a couple of days of finishing. It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate over five years. Much of it is now crammed into the house. Considering I used to have a junk shop and still have a hoarding problem, this is not a good thing. Currently I also have a car that’s rammed to the roof with plants, but it doesn’t seem worth taking them out with the weather we’re likely to have. It’s good to be finishing. Though we didn’t really want to go, we now want to draw a line under it.
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well, It were done quickly: as Macbeth said, and I’m not going to argue.
We left around 2 pm (I’m currently self-unemployed, so days are flexible) and took a detour to Rufford Country Park.
I had a bag of sunflower hearts in the back of the car and used them to tempt some birds from cover in the car park. It wasn’t quite as simple as it could have been, because just as they started gathering a couple with a dog walked right across the seed. Eventually I tempted two Blue Tits and 15 Chaffinches, but a pair of pigeons found us and scared everything off. When you’re bird watching in a country park you can’t really pick and choose, or scare pigeons away.
Wood pigeon at Rufford Abbey
Blue Tit at Rufford Abbey
Chaffinch at Rufford Abbey
We moved on to the main duck area, with the usual suspects. There were two unusual ducks across the lake, one Pochard (which we don’t see here often) and one empty pop bottle. OK, I made a mistake on that one, but I did once spend 10 minutes stalking a bit of fertiliser bag that I thought was a Kingfisher, so it’s not the worst mistake I’ve ever made.
Whilst I was searching for a pied wagtail that kept eluding the camera, a Grey Wagtail popped up. They aren’t rare, but they like fast running water and we normally see them when we’re in Derbyshire, so it was nice to see one here. I expect it likes the mill race.
It got even better when we rounded the corner to find a flock of Long Tailed Tits in a tree with a couple of Blue Tits and a Goldcrest. The Goldcrest came so close I could see it plainly without the binoculars. Unfortunately it was so quick that I couldn’t get a picture.
My time will come.
Finally, as the clouds rolled over, we tried for a few more shots on a picnic table but the pigeons moved in again. We cut our losses and took some shots of clouds before going for tea and Bakewell tarts in the cafe.
Sunlight over Notts
Sunbeams over Nottinghamshire
Sky over Rufford Abbey