Cabin fever

Today and the next couple of days we are having our hallway plastered. So the house is a little bit topsy turvy. So with little space for Alice to go back and forth we headed out for a walk to prevent cabin fever.

I discovered a new picnic area has been put together with a display showing what wildlife we might see

The spot overlooks part of the mere.

At the moment we have a scarecrow trail around town. At this new picnic spot I discovered one, an actual scary-crow scarecrow.

From there we walked around to the mere’s edge. The mere is a large body of fresh water. It has an abundance of bird life. Within the habitats available it attracts wetland, farm and sea birds. Even on a grey rainy day like today I still saw more variety than many trips to nature reserves.

There were lots of Canadian Geese.

I saw a good number of ducks. Some mallards and some I don’t know.

The jackdaws were hopping in and out of the other birds. As discussed before I like corvids and particularly jackdaws. I know some people consider them evil looking, but I rather like the blue eyes and apparent intelligence.

Alice thought the ducks and geese were hilarious, but they didn’t seem as keen on her.

We saw a number of types of gull. Springwatch released an article last week pointing out that there is no such thing as a seagull. So with that in mind here are black headed gulls and a herring gull.

Within the thistles and cow parsley goldfinches and pied wagtails flitted about. The goldfinch was slightly rude refusing to turn so I could take a photo of its better side.

The thistles were still seeing quite a few visitors despite the colder weather.

After the mere, we walked along the seafront home where we saw the lesser spotted sea pigeons.

Before heading home I gave Alice a quick run around outside the Floral Hall.

The Floral Hall is a community run venture with a cafe and hall. They put on live music, club nights, theatre shows and cinema nights. The flower displays are always lovely. The bug hotel they built this year is looking good and with plenty of teasel around it should see some visitors. Teasel is high on the list of flowers I would like to get growing in the garden next year. It is loved by pollinators and the birds will eat the seed heads.

Not a bad way to fill time staying away from the plastering in the house.

Bridleway exploring

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir

Yesterday had seen an unsettled night with Alice. She stubbornly refused to sleep on her own, so ended up resting on me until half 12. Then her morning nap was much the same. Thrashing and wailing all over the place. We don’t know if it’s teething, a reaction to the measles jab or something else and she doesn’t oblige by telling us. So I gave up on trying to put her down to take her out for some quiet time, pushing her around in the pram. Unlike many babies she doesn’t fall asleep that often in the pram. But I thought some time with her sat still might give her the rest she needed.

I head out round to the new housing estate. On the edge is a path taking you between what I think are wheat fields. The paths are pretty much only frequented by dog walkers.

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Along the edge of the path, in the wildflowers, I saw a number of ladybirds. Some were native I believe, rather than the usual harlequins I see.

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A lot of ringlets and red admiral butterflies criss crossed the verges.

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The slugs and snails have been out all over the last week with the heavy rain, but now it’s starting to dry out they are making a retreat.

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I took the footpath past the bunker. This path takes you through an overgrown area of brambles, bindweed, nettles and trees. It is a have for a whole variety of wildlife. Previously I discovered many robins and bluebells. On the walk up to it I passed a buddleja covered in red admirals.

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The bunker is apparently a favourite kids play spot, which is nice that it can now act as a hideout den.

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Around the bunker honeysuckle is starting to flower.

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While walking along this stretch one of the dog walkers recommended a bridleway a little further out of town. A bridleway, for those who are unsure, is defined a path for horses. Motor vehicles are not generally allowed access and they are not for the movement of livestock. Walkers can use them and cyclists, although cyclists are meant to give right of way to others. While cyclists are allowed to use them there is no local authority obligation to maintain them to be suitable for bikes. The path was not overly suitable for the pram and at times was hard going. It did however bounce Alice around enough to put her to sleep, which is what I was hoping would happen. I wouldn’t recommend it as a pram walk though, but I was lucky that the ground was dry and the grass at a length I could push through.

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The bridleway was a lovely route with fields either side, with house martins swooping over, butterflies, bees and hoverflies flitting along the edge. The path gently rolled upwards back to one of the roads out of Hornsea. I didn’t see another soul along the whole stretch.

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A hoverfly on the nettles.

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A small tortoiseshell.

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What I think is possibly a reed bunting. This is a new sighting to me to the area. I haven’t spent much time exploring the local farmland routes. As mentioned the pram is not really designed for this, but as Alice gets walking further we can get to know these paths better.

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Damselflies mating at the end of the path.

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On the way back home I spotted gull chicks venturing out of their nest on a roof.

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As Alice was still sleeping I took a little detour through the park to give her longer sleeping.

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I even spotted some mysterious activities going on at the town hall. They’ve possibly come to unmask local MP Graham Stuart.

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So Alice got a decent sleep in the end and I’ve found out about a new path and seen some new wildlife. A good trip out. I’ll finish with a photo of the hebe I got for my birthday. It’s flowering now and is a lovely colour. The bees are loving it.

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Day 25-trail cam in action

After losing my fox photos yesterday I wanted to spend some time getting used to setting up aiming the trail cam, so I set it up through the day in the garden to catch photos if the birds in my garden.

The first catch came from the ever greedy starlings.

Not a bad start, but the light settings weren’t quite right and the camera wasn’t quite positioned right.

I tried it on the grass, but placed the camera a bit close to the meal worms I’d left to entice them in, so it needed re-angling.

I put the camera to the side while I did my gardening. I found a little friend had an attraction to the mower.

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One of my neighbours had been clearing the jungle of wildflowers at the back of his house leading to a mass snail exodus.

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A busy bee and a wealth of worms

I then reset the trap cam and took Alice for a walk around the block. There were some beautiful looking gardens currently and the bees and other pollinators were out in force.

Back at home the tram cam had captured a few more birds.

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I decided to try the grass again, this time using a feeder to aim at.

One of the fat pigeons photo bombing the starling.

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My favourite the inquisitve sparrow interested in what’s going on behind him.

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Day 20-National Insect Week

Today we started our work in school on National Insect week. The kids had teaching assistant cover this morning while I was having my planning time out of the classroom. I’ve planned a snazzy bee survey later in the week which will contribute towards the Friends of the Earth bee survey. My class has also been working on gaining points towards RSPB wildlife action awards. The wildlife action awards involve a whole host of activities to encourage the RSPB’s every child outdoor hunt, from beach walks to bug hunts to writing letters to MP’s they cover a series of different elements to help nature. We have carried out a number already: sketching butterflies, growing flowers, bird watching, raising recycling awareness and a very messy session making pine cone bird feeders. This week our bee hunt will count towards the wildlife action awards as there is one point for taking part in a survey. Our bug hunting as part of National Insect Week will count for another and we are doing some litter picking for a third point in one week! I’m glad to say when I returned after dinner they were able to tell me what an entomologist was and what made an insect. A good start to the week.

RSPB wildlife action award booklet

After work I went to the post office in the centre of town and on the way back to the car took a small detour through Queen’s Gardens. I enjoyed the sight of a number of content ducks and pigeons. One pigeon seemed particularly keen to pose for photos.

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And in the murky depths something lurked!

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Back at home cooked tea, tidy around of baby things, then a bit of late night gardening. I found a moth in the water bucket, which I saved to put back in the ivy where it soon fluttered away from.IMG_20160620_185537