1st Chiffchaf photo of 2020 at Summer Leys Nature Reserve
The chiffchaff is a bird of woodland, scrub, parks and gardens. It sings its name out loud in a simple ‘chiff chaff chiff chaff’ song, which it performs from the tree canopy. Some chiffchaffs stay all year-round, but most migrate here from Africa. They are one of our earliest arrivals, singing their hearts out from the end of February onwards.
Listen to a Chiffchaf
Coronavirus Lockdown Day 6
Deaths in the UK have risen to 578. It is predicted that 2 to 3 weeks time will be the peak.
The USA have surpassed China in numbers of cases, over 80,000 however we do not truly know the figures for China.
Today I have read an interesting article about the possible future outcomes of this pandemic, if they are correct times will be very interesting indeed, and perhaps the better. – https://www.esquire.com/uk/life/a31915611/coronavirus-timeline/
Deaths have risen to 759 in the UK
Even with the lockdown advice in place you would think that you go for a walk in large open spaces, well it can proove to be difficult. My guess is that there is a number of people that acutally just do not understand what is going on. It is now becoming impossible to go anywhere, well that’s what it feels like. Nature reserves are closing and places left open people are going to and some of them just will not respect the social distancing required. The warm weather is not helping.
Time to try to find a spot that no one! goes to.
Yesterday I visited Summer Leys Nature Reserve thinking huge space no problem, there were lots of people and in some parts of the walk you cannot avoid them. Anyway some great photography and good bird spotting. Especially the Common Snipe, Oystercatchers, Redshank, Finches, Tits and Chiffchafs. That evening the BCN WT closed the car park for the time being.
Today (26/3/2020) I tried Stortons GP nature reserve! Not much wildlife about but again a lot of people. I actually said to one group, “no one ever comes here why now?” They just looked at me!! One lady “what do you photograph here?” when I told her (at a distance) all the wildlife that can be seen in the reserve she was shocked. Most people just walk around with their eyes and ears shut, I am sure.
So, not many photographs but some nice ones of a Bee gathering nectar, and a Great Tit. Other birds being elusive, hiding from the increased numbers visiting.
The Warmer weather has bought the Bees out. This one feeding on Blackthorn Flowers.
Small Tortoisehell Butterflies on Blackthorn flowers
Common Snipe at SLNR 25/3/20
A medium-sized wader, the Snipe lives in marshes, wet grassland and moorlands, where it nests in simple scrapes. It uses its long, probing bill to find insects, earthworms and crustaceans in the mud, typically swallowing prey whole. During the breeding season, males can be heard making a unique ‘drumming’ sound as their tail feathers vibrate in the wind as they perform their aerial courtship displays.
Reed Bunting at SLNR 25/3/20
Squirrel at SLNR 25/3/20
Goldfinch (who moved!) SLNR 25/3/20
St Crispin Hospital Woods
Close to our house is an area that used to be a huge Mental Institution (Commonly known as asylums!) the kind that perfectly normal people were sometimes incarcerated for no reason. However, in the same facility were some quite clearly very severe cases.
The main asylum was erected as a variation of the corridor-pavilion plan. There were two patients blocks which were on either side of the central services and hall. The only access between these buildings was by single storey corridors on the lower levels, and open metal walkways on the upper levels. In 1884 work started to expanded the site which included a block for female epileptic patients, a new block for ‘idiot and imbecile’ children and an isolation hospital. It also included a new stable block and a fire station as well as a mortuary and stone chapel. The new additions took over three years to build and were completed in 1887.
Sometime as we sat in our lessons at school escapee’s would run across the playing field being chased by lots of men in white coats!
On regular occasions the girls were ‘flashed’ and of course they took no notice after the 1st encounter.
As a child I used to play in the woods and grounds around the hospital and use the tennis courts, which were very good quality. My friends father used to show/project the weekly film and we were allowed to sit upstairs with him to watch the film. I wished I had some images of that place back in the 60’s.
My walk around today produced some great photographs see below.