Walking back along the marsh I spotted a beautiful and identical pair of Red-necked grebes. They didn't seem too bothered by my presence as the Mallards retreated away across the big pond in panic. The Grebes were too far away to be worth a picture and the sun was badly placed behind them anyway. Lots of different birds about today. With several thrushes shouting the odds from the tree tops. I saw my first pair of starlings for this year in our own, giant, white willow. Didn't see a single bird of prey today. Which is quite unusual.
Tuesday 10th 45-50F, rather overcast with gales building. It was absolutely perishing today wearing exactly the same clothes in which I was far too warm yesterday. My ear lobes were streaming with tears from my eyes. My hands stuffed in my pockets as I huddled in my bum freezer, spring walking jacket. The birds seemed unmoved as they chased each other along the hedgerows. A hundred Fieldfares swarmed around field trees before alighting for a rest. Too busy for a ride.
Wednesday 11th 44-50F, 7-10C, bright but with gales making it feel much cooler. Walked to the village and back. The Ecco boots have almost given up their last resistance. The right boot starts off hurting but I eventually become numb to the pain. The birds were on afterburner today. Shooting across the landscape like projectiles. No wonder, with the wind roaring in the hedges!
The Head Gardener wisely suggested I return to the winter jacket and I was grateful for its protective qualities today. The verges and bits of the marsh are covered in the early flower heads of what looks rather like a kind of wild rhubarb. Butterbur will completely hide the ground once the leaves come out. Eventually the leaves become completely tattered with holes from insects munching away. One can just imagine the wildlife enjoying the cover provided to use the verges as wildlife corridors. Heavy shopping in the car. It was roasting in bright sunshine.
Thursday 12th 40-47F, 4-8C, windy, heavy overcast with spots of rain in the air. Will gust to nearly 40mph later. Four days in row with gales now. It was spitting with rain as I limped away from the house. Though the pain from the Ecco boot soon passed until an hour later on the steep descent, down from the woods. I walked along the marsh to see if there were any interesting birds on the big pond. Only two noisy geese, who complained bitterly at my arrival and marked their immediate departure.
A large deer bolted uphill as I climbed the fire breaks in the woods. Leaving behind a smaller deer in silhouette. Which watched me from the cover below me. The felling of areas of hardwoods continues. With stacks of trunks ready to be taken away.
The wind was roaring in the trees and hedges throughout. With my yellow glasses providing only modest protection. Now the sun was behind me on the walk back along the road. So I was giving the half-blinded motorists plenty of room by taking to the verges. The sky has now cleared to bright sunshine but it remains cool in the strong, gusty winds.
Huge lorries have come to take away the wood chippings from the tree felling. A bucket loader was doing its best to fill the vast containers and having to pat it down firmly to get it all in. Judging by the trail of chippings along the road it was not even the first run. Despite the roaring wind a tractor and its spraying implement were trundling across the fields. Idiocy or lunacy? Do they own every field for miles downwind?
I was allowed out for a shopping ride under an overcast sky. It proved to be a struggle against the wind. Effortless coming back home. Saw a female Kestrel. Only 7 miles.