Wednesday 1 April 2020

First Swallow

Lade - Lockdown Day 9 - cold, dry and sunny, ne 2 - As I`m suffering from an impinged shoulder and couldn't sleep I was up early and listening to the nascent dawn chorus in the garden gloom along with a steaming cup of tea. There wasn't a human sound to be heard, no cars carrying an early commuter to work, planes overhead or dog-walker, nothing; it was like Christmas Day afternoon when everyone is indoors watching telly. In the stillness of night a rime of frost had settled on the cottage slates, glinting in the first rays of the new day as a distant Blackbird delivered a half-hearted lament. While I was trying to work out what day of the week it was (they seem to have melded into one of late) our local gang of sparrows chirped up from their roost in the pyracantha thicket bringing me back to reality.
  Barney snuffled around the garden checking out last nights nocturnal odours. Several times he seemed to hit a `wall` as he investigated each smell: was it a Badger or Fox that had been rooting around under the fir trees, or maybe one of several transient cats or even a wandering Hedgehog, although I`ve not seen one out of hibernation yet?  Apparently, a dog`s sense of smell is fifty times more sensitive than ours; I can`t imagine what that would be like...

                               Wrens were in fine voice today

                               Knots and a Grey Plover on the beach
  Our daily outing was full of surprises, mainly due to the east wind that has at last relented. A pair of Canada Geese (75) on Kerton Road pit looking for a nest site was the first of five species new for the Lockdown List. Our first Swallow (76) of spring zipped over south lake and sped north, closely followed by a trio of Barnacle Geese (77) heading south calling (an unusual record here) that were later noted on Dengemarsh (MC). Plenty of resident birds were in fine voice including loads of Wrens and Dunnocks in dry scrub, Cetti`s Warblers and Reed Buntings in the willow swamp and Skylarks and Meadow Pipits over the desert.

                                Goose Barnacles on the beach

   The walk back along the beach delivered a few waders: Curlews and Oystercatchers, Dunlins and Sanderlings, 4 Ringed Plover, 20 Knots, Grey Plover (78) and Turnstone (79). Best of all though was a Dan-can buoy washed up on the beach festooned with hundreds of Goose Barnacles.
  Other local news today concerned another Sea-eagle sighting over New Romney by Chris P and Owen L.


  1. Loving the blog Paul! Please continue your 'ramblings!' You've inspired me to get going on my blog as well! Hope you're both in good health and good spirits and of course your family too. We got our middles son & girlfriend back from their travels the Tuesday before lock down. They were in the Philippines but with the world closing around them they sorted out a flight home. Alec is locked down with us and Laura his Girlfriend is with her Mum in Kensworth, so after being a couple for nearly fours years travelling they are apart! We're all well,I'm still working from home at present. Rather ironically sales of puzzles are going mad, nit sure for how long though. Your music list was interesting, couple there I'll have to investigate. Anyway, keep safe and hopefully se you both before too long!

  2. Thanks for your kind words Mark, and good to hear the family are doing well. Yes, Pat and I are both fine. It does looks as though we may lose most of our spring bookings, although on the plus side the cottage has never looked so spruced up what with all the time on our hands! Hopefully, the guests will return in the autumn.
    Hope to see you and Tara at the New Forest Folk Festival in the summer and good luck with your forthcoming blog, all the best, Paul.