Saturday, April 11, 2009

penultimate week of freedom

The most interesting day this week was Wednesday when I checked another walk, this time starting in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, getting full value of my day tripper and getting by bus, tram, train and another bus to the very brink of Wakefield. The heron of doom was there to greet me as soon as I stepped of the bus, circling lazily over Junction 38. Rain had been forecast but my main problem was the wind. It turned out to be quite an adventure, as part of the walk went off the map so I was reliant on Rob's clear instructions to guide me. All very fine, till I realised I seemed to have mislaid a page of the instuctions. Fortunately, having read through prior to setting off, I remembered that the walk followed the Dearne Way for this section of the walk, so the waymarks saw me safely back into the Sculpture Park in good time for the bus home.
Learning about birds does not lend itself to multi-tasking with walk checking as well as I had hoped. Nevertheless, I was able to watch and take photos of this grey wagtail, and note a great crested grebe and some Canada geese and heard lapwing. I think a heightened awareness of birds and birdsong but not being able to pick up on what many of them are, is a frustratingly necessary stage of trying to become a more knowledgeable birder.
I finally got to the garden centre on Thursday and yesterday, seeds were sown: courgettes, borlotti beans, butternut squash and leeks. Today saw a bit of tidying and topiary, with occasional dashes for the binoculars and camera. A pair of starlings made a couple of visits to a hanging worm feeder; it's the first time I can remember starlings in the garden for ages. I could hear lots of different songs as I worked but I can't identify them, apart from the blackbirds.
Not sure how much work will get done in the garden when I start the new job in just over a week's time. I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm going to have to make sure I make time for the garden and walks. A new routine will be needed, if that's possible, with lots of travelling in prospect.

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