Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bellasis blues

Sunday morning and the weather was calm so I headed up to Bellasis Bridge for some contemplation and the hope of Chiffchaff or Sand Martin. The Skylarks were singing and the river back to somewhere near normal levels but the banks have suffered greatly over the winter. The area to the right above where the rushes that would be home to Banded Demoiselles have been scoured clear.
Many of the banks have collapsed totally and I would bet that which housed the Sand Martin colony has suffered a similar fate. No Martins were present and as I walked to the copse north of the bridge there were plenty of calling Tits and some Redwing but no ChiffChaffing.
After some five months the farmer has finally been able to retrieve his round bales of straw although many are likely to be burnt as waste. One up side was that the remaining stubble housed numerous battling Skylarks and a flock of 48 Meadow Pipit along with a smattering of Pied Wagtails but I'm sure if the weather stays dry the field will shortly be ploughed and the habitat lost. Over the road, a mere four Lapwings displayed in a field of winter wheat that appears to have survived...
... but further south though the crop appears to have been lost the lying logs giving some idea of the extent of the flood. It's hard to believe that this is the location I heard a Corncrake last July although that too would be caused by the wet weather as the grass hadn't been able to be cut following the rains last April.
As time passed increasing numbers of cyclists passed through some in groups of up to twenty many in converstion and often very loud. The single chaps were a bit quieter although a couple of them looked ill advised to attempt the long deceptive climb back up the hill. Numbers approaching 75 in the time I was there was many more than usuual then as I got back to the car a phalanx of 25 motorcyclists drove north in line astern. My peace shattered I discussed life with the lady who pulled in behind on her horse amazed that the beast had not reacted to the traffic. As I got in the car the wind was picking up and swinging to the cold east again, Chopins Raindrop Prelude played on the radio and I pondered over the future.

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