09 April 2006

Am I now fit again?

I did the "tread and shed" class again at the gym on Friday - 45 minute workout on a treadmill - and came through it without any problems with my knees. This is the first time in more than two years that I've been able to do that. I covered the first 5km in 25.33 min and managed 8km in 44.11 min. Not exactly marathon pace but good for me.

Starting the morning under blue skies!

Yesterday I put my legs through their paces again walking in the Peak District. I didn't cover a huge distance, around six miles, but the going was rather tough at times as was the weather. When I left home at 6:15AM it had the look of being a fine morning, after driving for only a short while I started seeing cars coming towards Derby with snow on them! By the time I arrived at Ladybower Reservoir the surrounding moorland was covered in snow, not very good for birdwatching!

It's a tough place to live.

The weather put paid to any chance of finding my target birds for the day, Ring Ouzel and Goshawk, so I set about enjoying the moorland views and the fact that I was out in the open and away from work. In a strange kind of way I actually enjoyed the numerous hail and snow storms that appeared out of nowhere during the morning. Bird highlights included Peregrine Falcon, Red Grouse, Curlew, Siskin and Grey Wagtail.

The Derwent Reservoir.

This morning I gave myself the luxury of an extra hour in bed, well it is Sunday, and didn't get up until 7:00AM. As the weather forecast was for heavy rain by midday I chose to stay local for my morning's birding. Twenty minutes after getting out of bed I was at Aston On Trent gravel pits.

The whole morning was a total contrast to yesterday. The sun was out, the sky was mostly blue and the birds showed well. Okay, so the views didn't compare to the snow covered moors but it was the birds I was here for today! In just under four hours I found a total of 45 species including three new year birds - Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail and White Wagtail. Later I'll update my Derbyshire Year List but the new birds today should take me to 104 species for the County and 110 for the year in the UK.

Oh, the rain. It was just under an hour late! I managed to get home, mow the lawns and clear everything away just before the rain started at 12:50PM!

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