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WEATHER: a lovely mist shrouded the valley first thing this morning, then wow! the most beautiful morning developed. Clear sky, no wind, lovely temperature. 

It goes on and on, this beautiful weather, what a joy to be outdoors. Having ventured out after dark to capture this image of the moon for you, I was excited to get back out this morning. Lockdown does have a silver-lining after all.

The Woodpecker/Nuthatch saga continues, I can't believe that these two species have wasted almost three weeks sqabbbling over this one nest hole, soon it will be passed their breeding season. But here we go again, the Woodpecker was back at the Nuthatch nest hole pecking away at the mud entrance that the Nuthatches had installed. Bioth Nuthatches were dive bombing the Woodpecker but it took a supreme effort to get rid of him. I noticed the female was higher up in the tree waiting for her knight in shining armour to reclaim their nest hole.

Two minutes after the woodpecker left the scene one of the Nuthtaches brought in fresh mud to start repairing the damage done. I left them to it and will look tomorrow to see hows things have progressed.

the female waiting patiently higher up in the tree

100 meters further on I stopped to watch the Wren continue to build a nest just above the waterline on the bank of the stream. I was flabbergasted when I saw that bhe was joined by his mate, she must have approved of the nest site because she was helping with the interior decorating. This could end in tears if the water level rises after heavy rain.

Just 5 meters away at the Blue Tits nest both birds were hard at work finishing the excavation of their nest hole, I noticed that one of them stayed in hole for quite while.

The rest of the walk was a dream, the sun came up and brightened the whole valley, carpets of celandine glistened in the morning light. The buckthorn blossom is stunning now and within a few days it will be falling like snow flakes. 

Blackthorn clump

Peacock butterfly on the Blackthorn

Birds sang from every direction, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Robins, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Wrens, Treecreepers, Song Thrush and Great Tits. A Willow Warbler joined the chorus a little further on. I had three sightings of Kingfisher, all of them were fly-bys and two unusual sightings was of Mute Swan (flyovers just as the previous sighting), Stock Doves on the ploughed field and a Cormorant on the River Yeo.

Recently I have seen the male Mandarin Ducks alone and very often up in a tree

I spent some time trying get a picture of Goldfinch, a pair seem to be favouring a large gorse bush, I am pretty sure they are only feeding there and not nesting. 

By 10am it was very warm and many butterflies came out to play, I saw Peacock, Ornage Tip, Brimstone, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell.

Again I met Dawn and we walked a little extra mile or so across the flelds to Clifton Maybank. I can report the sighting of Little Egret, Common Moorhen and plenty of butterflies. We saw our first Holly Blue as we made our way back.

Holly Blue

The most exciting sightings came in the late afternoon as I sat in the garden, I saw two new species for the Isolation List. First a Pied Wagtail flew over and I guess it landed on the roof because 5 minutes later it flew down and landed in the meadow so 100 meters away. 


The second new species was a HOUSE MARTIN, I don't know if it is one of the ten pairs that nest under the eaves of our building becuase it was very high, it seemed to be hanging around the area. We are on our way to 60 species!!!

record shot of the Pied Wagtail

More good weather is forecast for tomorrow, oh dear, here we go again!!