18 May 2012

One for the birds

What a week for bird spotting.
It started on Tuesday (OK, I know most weeks start on a Monday but this Monday was rather boring so we're starting on Tuesday just to be different.).  We have several house martin nest pockets under the eaves, it took several years for them to be used and then they were abandoned again fro several years but on Tuesday morning outside the bathroom window could be hear the distinctive tweeteling of house martin conversation.  The curtains were very carefully drawn back and there peeking out of the nest was a little black and white head which was then followed by body as the martin dropped out followed by a second one which then flew around the garden before popping back in.  They've been seen and heard over the week.  It's so nice to have them back.
Wednesday was for the cuckoo, one has been heard at Green End and then again at Darnholme gradually getting closer to us and moving down the tree line. CMH heard it on Wednesday morning, at last it reached us.  I've not heard it but on Wednesday evening I saw a male flying in and out of the oaks (which are still to bud up never mind come into leaf.). It was also the day the wol (no that's not a typo) came back to us, read more here.
Thursday was the biggie, in the evening I saw a short eared owl hunting the Mill Scar moor, we've been here since 1984 and it's the first one I've seen in or around the village. I watched as it quartered back and forth flashing those typical creamy under wings, then there was a second less distinctive but still owlish shape, they circled for a few minutes before the second bird flew further up the valley and the first individual returned to its hunting pattern before dropping down out of sight behind the reservoir.  I've watched intently, gazing into the middle distance since but have yet to see it or them again.
Although the oaks have not made it into leaf (neither have the ashes so it could be a soak or splash yet) one robin has decided it's autumn and on Thursday evening was singing his autumn territorial tune.
Lunch time today and it was back to the cuckoos, a female this time flying over the hawthorn spiny making all the wood pigeons take to flight in alarm before going behind the trees and down the river valley.
In the office it's been an odd week intermittently quiet and thumb twiddling (well not quite but you get the gist) and then frenetically busy. The end result is a fair few jobs online, plenty of training courses, lots of news and last but not least a Weekly edition now printing. It's 21 pages this week including the Training Calendar for July part one ID skills this week, the rest to follow next week along with details of work days. There are 58 new paid posts of which 48 came direct and 21 adverts for voluntary posts.
I'm off bird owl spotting have a good weekend.