On Saturday I went for a walk around the tetrad I’m surveying for the Sheffield Bird Study Group (tetrad SK28Z). It was a bit of a dingy day, and there wasn’t too much about, but still managed to see a couple of highlights. Including:
- A reed bunting on Rowell Lane, just outside the tetrad. The first I’ve seen on my patch this year.
- A mute swan on Old Wheel Dam – the first I’ve ever seen there. Also a family of Canada geese goslings, and the usual drake teal.
- Lapwings still present at Old Wheel Farm, and a great spotted woodpecker and sparrowhawk nearby.
- More lapwings and another great spotted woodpecker near Dungworth Green.
- A little owl perched on a wall on Hill Top Lane.
- Singing skylarks and whitethroat on Riggs High Road.
I had a quick walk up to Stacey Bank afterwards, and saw a couple of dippers on the river, and a curlew on the way back down Loxley Road.
On Sunday I went for a walk up to Loxley and Wadsley Commons. This is a great local area much-neglected by me, and in a short time I got linnets, yellowhammers, bullfinches, great spotted woodpeckers and jays.
A problem the area seems to suffer from is one of my pet hates – idiots on off-road motorbikes. Despite this being illegal, it’s sadly not uncommon in several nearby areas to find yourself having to make way to noisy bikes tearing past on public footpaths, and judging by my walk yesterday this seems to be something Loxley Common is used for. I really can’t see the appeal of razzing up footpaths at about eight miles an hour on crap motorcycles, and I can’t help thinking part of the appeal is to actively piss off other people.
Yesterday one of them was an overweight man, probably mid twenties, on what was obviously a child-sized motorbike. When he saw me coming towards him, he sheepishly turned back – I hope that on my approach he got a sudden moment of clarity and realised what an utter buffoon he looked like!
Finally yesterday ended on a bit of a sad note, as Laura and I found one of the neighbourhood badgers dead by the side of the road not far from the house. My guess is that it had been hit by a car and crawled into the undergrowth and died. Hopefully we’ll still get visits from them later in the summer.