Monday, 31 May 2010

Boring Bank Holiday

Not much of an update, despite having five days off.
Thursday was spent at the Chelsea Flower Show-I have been going for a few years now. Got there very early, so I got a chance to see most of the gardens before the crowds built up. Spent a lot of time in the Pavilion enjoying the plants, especially the orchids (many hardy Lady Slippers from around the world in particular), carnivorous plants, and all the tropical/subtropical things I have a hard time growing. Also nice to see the vegetables by Medwyn Williams-he 'retired' five years ago and I never thought I'd see one of his legendary displays.
Not much in the way of wild life of course-a few tits and the ubiquitous London pigeons. The Ring Necked Parakeets were very vocal and more visible than on previous visits. Chelsea is a guaranteed (but incredibly expensive) way of getting these as a year tick, though for once I'd already seen plenty already.
Got back home incredibly exhausted-about a month back I dropped something on my foot and thought I'd broken a big toe. It was getting better but seven hours on my feet proved too much for it.

Friday was a rest day. Single Large Red Damselfly over my pond was nice-first one for a couple of years.

Saturday morning I went to Amwell. Bill Last was driving off as I arrived so I knew it was a bit quiet. Pair of Little Ring Plovers and a few Redshank flying around. The ducks are starting to moult into eclipse plumage. The cold wind led to drizzle and finally rain, so no dragonflies or butterflies flying. Must have been plenty of Mayflies and things as there were large numbers of Swifts, Sand and House Martins and a few Swallows feeding low over the water. Eventually two Hobby's  appeared-apart from them the only raptor was a female Sparrowhawk crashing through the reeds.

Sunday afternoon was brighter, slightly warmer but with a strong northerly breeze. Decided to walk through Aston End and up the river Beane, mainly to stretch my legs and get a bit of air. Pleasant stroll, even though the toe is still aching. Single Orange Tip, Green Veined White and Peacock, with a few Speckled Woods in sheltered wood glades. Few birds, though one or two Willow Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat Garden Warblers and Blackcaps still singing.

Today is cloudy and much colder than expected, so I stayed in. Juvenile Goldfinch on the feeders, and a young Blackbird feeding on the ground.

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