|Illustration available here|
Went for a long walk this morning along the lanes and back up the valley along the river. A beautiful, hot morning, very different to the weather now as I'm writing, which is grey, cool with heavy rain! How a day can change!
Lots of the fields along the top of the lanes have been cut, including the one the skylarks nest in, hope they've managed to rear their chicks in time, modern farming methods are often incompatible with the best interests of wildlife unfortunately.They were up and singing though so I will take that as a good omen. It's really nice to see both the brook and the river at their proper summer levels, instead of the high flood levels of the last few summers. This has proved very beneficial for the birds nesting in the islands in the river; goosanders, swans, mallards, wagtails and the common sandpiper, a pretty brown bird which was sat quietly on a rock in the river.
The kingfishers and dippers are scarce though which is a result of the floods destroying their nesting sites.
Also a lot of fields along the river valley have been planted with wheat again, so hopefully this may encourage birds such as the yellow hammer back to the valley, it used to be a common sight years ago.