My Commute

I’ve been catching the train to work for a week or two now. Which means about a mile across the fields in the morning. On the way home I often come back the same way, but if time allows I try to take a longer route. Perhaps across Lambert’s meadow or into Eaves Wood. One day last week I went via Leighton Moss, Trowbarrow quarry and Eaves Wood. Last night I went through Fleagarth Wood to Jenny Brown’s Point and through Jack Scout, Woodwell and Bottom’s Wood. On the edge of the salt marsh I saw a pair of large dragonflies unlike any I have seen here before – they were very broad bodied and had striking black and yellow colouring. My field guide suggests that they were probably four-spotted chasers since the other alternatives are not found this far north. I didn’t have my camera unfortunately.

The photo of a chaffinch above was taken on Monday morning when I started my working week with a walk to Arnside for an appointment, and then caught the train in to Lancaster from there. The chaffinch was singing loudly from a branch just above my head and didn’t seem very perturbed by my presence – he was much more upset when a blue tit had the temerity to land nearby. He soon chased it off.

In Eaves Wood the wood ants were very busy. On the really large nest near to the ruined cottage, there were several winged ants in amongst the others, an indication of an imminent swarm?

(More about swarms later)

Bugle.

A clump of crosswort on the road opposite Arnside Tower Farm.

Bird’s-foot trefoil

In the woods on Arnside Knott I spotted an unusual blackbird…

None of the photos I took came out too well I’m afraid…

But they do at least reveal that this particular blackbird has a significant amount of white. I think that it’s fairly common, called leucism apparently.

In the mornings I often encounter a heron fishing at Bank Well. I’ve also seen jays in the trees a few times. Tonight I heard the yaffle of green woodpecker from an oak tree in a field. I waited a while and was rewarded with a brief flash of yellow and green as it flew into the trees of Hagg Wood. It’s the first green woodpecker that I’ve seen for quite some time.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, yesterday bees swarmed just outside our bedroom window. I was at work and missed it but returned to find small dead bees on the floors in many rooms of the house and a few bees still buzzing around the edge of the roof outside our bedroom. They were there again today. Do we now have a nest in our loft space perhaps?

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My Commute

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