15 June 2008

A weekend round up...


Last Wednesday evening the “blues” hit me over the lack of gigs I’ve been to this year so, to ease the pain a little, I ordered a couple of CD’s. Okay, it’s not live music but at least it’s something new for me. The two CD’s are “Eye Of The Storm” by Albannach and “Discordant Dreams” by Touchstone. The Albannach CD will take a little while to arrive as it’s coming from the US; the Touchstone CD arrived just 36 hours after I ordered it! Lynda is sick of hearing me say it but... I’m very impressed with the on-line ordering service from Amazon!!!

As for the CD... it’s GREAT! I’ve been playing it at every opportunity since it arrived - it’s playing right now too. All the tracks are superb but, if I had to pick a favourite, “Blacktide” looks like being the one that stands out above the rest. When I saw this band back in April 2007 they impressed me, after hearing “Discordant Dreams” I’d say they’re now even better! I need to be seeing them play live again - and soon!


Bike Week 2008 started on Saturday and I’m taking part in my own little way. The aim of Bike Week is to get more people out of their cars and onto their bikes and a number of events will be taking part around the UK. The “event” that caught my eye was the challenge of cycling a minimum of 25 miles in Derbyshire over the week. I’ve registered with Everyday Cycling, a web site that is running the challenge, and have already got the first 8.92 miles under my belt by riding to work and back on Saturday. The 25-mile target will be no problem! That’s if the weather doesn’t force me into the comfort of the car!


I added species number 125 to my “10-Mile List” this morning and it proved to be even easier than I expected. Ever since I started listing the birds seen within a 10-mile radius of home I’ve known that Little Owl would be an easy tick, I just needed to go and visit my chosen site. Today was Fathers Day so I went to see my Dad - and the Little Owl! I arrived at the farm at just after 10:00AM and after spending a short time in the house chatting with my Mum and Dad I went off in search of the owl.

As it turned out, there wasn’t any real field craft needed to track down the smallest of the British owls. I walked across the garden, through the gate at the bottom that took me into the farmyard and there was the owl sat on a shed roof looking at me! As soon as it saw me it took off and disappeared from view. Over the next hour or so the owl reappeared on a number of occasions but wouldn’t quite sit still long enough for me to photograph it.

My Dad reckons that the bird was so flighty because it didn’t know me - it will sit tight and let him work in the yard whilst it sits and watches. I reckon it may be because the owl was worried I may have a grudge against it! It turns out that a Little Owl - probably the one I saw today - has been raiding Blackbird nests around the farmyard and taking the baby chicks. Much as my Mum likes the owls she is not impressed by this behaviour! Having had one of “my” Blackbirds taken by a Sparrowhawk a few weeks ago I can see her point!

This evening I went for a short walk in search of Spotted Flycatcher, like the Barn Owl on Friday, I didn’t see one! It was a nice walk though, even if the grass pollen did start to set off my hay fever. I only walked for around a mile or so but I saw 23 different species of bird, numerous rabbits including a couple of very small young and also a fox that was, no doubt, out to try and catch one of the rabbits! Birds of note included a pair of Bullfinch, a male Yellowhammer, a Common Buzzard and numerous Swifts that were screeching around overhead. It was also good to see at least 6 House Martins together, as numbers of this species seem very low this summer.

Nice habitat, but no flycatcher!

The not so nice grasses!

My “10-Mile List” now stands at 125 species.

1 comment:

  1. The not so nice grasses look nice. Glad you had a good time with the folks. So when will they have my room ready at the farm LOL.

    Sarah XX