Today is a truly beautiful day, and it’s a sin I’ve got to be cooped up in the office.
So I decided to make the most of my lunch hour and set myself a challenge – could I see or hear twenty species of bird in 60 minutes?
I stopped off for a sandwich at the van – luckily there was no queue to waste valuable time, and while being served two woodpigeons and a carrion crow flew overhead, and a dunnock scurried around in a nearby car park.
Walking past the Students Union, there were the usual gathering of feral pigeons, and I walked past Weston Park and down Mushroom Lane, where there were two magpies and a chaffinch feeding on a lawn. Down Mushroom Lane, and past Crookes Valley Park, blue tits and robins could be heard singing, as well as the wheezing of greenfinches.
Doing a loop of Ponderosa, goldfinches could be heard twittering. A blackbird hurried past, and a mistle thrush flew overhead and landed on the playing field.
A couple of easy ones in Crookes Valley Park – the usual mallards and moorhens on the lake. Walking back down Mushroom Lane, great tits could be heard singing, and jackdaws called somewhere in the distance.
A walk through Weston Park got one more species – a pied wagtail flitting around the grass.
And the total? Well only 17, but still not bad going.
It’s interesting to note just how many birds are singing with the spring-like weather – I heard robins, dunnocks, great tits, mistle thrushes, goldfinches, blue tits, woodpigeons and greenfinches this lunch time, as well as song thrushes, chaffinches and collared doves on the way to the tram stop this morning.