13 February 2009

Welcome to the twilight zone...

It's been a long time coming but this week has finally seen a noticeable difference in the amount of light in the sky as I've made my way home from work. This evening the sky still held the last tinge of colour from a rather nice sunset as I started on the 6 mile commute and, for the first part of the ride, I only needed my bike lights on so that I could be seen, rather than to see.

Song Thrush, Blackbird and Robin were all in full song as I rode along the river path heading out of Derby and rabbits were already out feeding on the grass. A flock of around 30 geese (I'm almost certain they'd be Canada's) flew low over Pride Park Stadium and dropped down either on Alvaston Park or The Sanctuary nature reserve, obviously going to roost. I didn't manage to see a fox on my ride tonight but I have done so on a couple of occasions this week.

When I arrived home at just before 6:00PM "my" Blackbirds were busy falling out with each other over just who had territorial rights to the gardens close by - this rather noisy battle was still going on after dark! "Blackbird going to bed time" as it is know in our house has always provided one of my favourite sounds in nature - the end of day song, contact calls and alarm calls of the Blackbirds - but this evening it meant just a little more to me. Hopefully, it signals the end of the snow of the past two weeks and the start of some slightly better weather to come.

The bat that was flying around above the garden, as I topped up the bird feeders with sunflower hearts and peanut granules, was a rather surprising sight and I can't help but wonder at the chances of the poor thing finding any food this evening! I'm pretty sure it will be heading back to it's roost site pretty quickly once the temperature starts to drop again over the next couple of hours.

Tomorrow, Lynda and I are off to Martin Mere WWT Reserve with the Derby RSPB Group. My plan for the day is, once again, to slow things down with my birding. In fact, I'm hoping the day will be spent "bird watching" rather than "birding" - yes, there IS a difference! Martin Mere is a reserve that I have always looked forward to visiting and tomorrow is no exception, I just hope the weather is kind to us!

The trip to the north west also gives me the opportunity to meet up with a fellow blogger too. Nic, of Birdnerdblog fame, lives not too far from Martin Mere so we have arranged to meet up tomorrow - I'm hoping that a little local knowledge will help increase my bird count for the day! So, no pressure then Nic!

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