May photo diary & a new season

31 May 2022

The seasons are coming around quickly with spring soon to be merging into summer. More wildflowers will spring up in the meadows, bats will appear in the late evenings circling around gardens in search for food, dragonflies will be seen darting across ponds, lakes and rivers, more swifts will be seen dancing in the skies and grass snakes and common lizards found basking in the summer sunlight. Summer's heat isn't my favourite, I've always been more of a cold weather person preferring to be wrapped up in layers as I adventure, but each and every season has its magic and the abundance of flowers and wildlife activity brings me joy throughout this season.

Last month Alex and I encountered a number of wildlife. Some highlights were deer, great spotted woodpeckers, speckled wood butterflies and fluffy goslings at Wollaton Park, we saw treecreepers and had a magical nature moment when we saw a grey heron land gracefully on a tree log as we wandered beside the babbling brooks of Endor (Wyming Brook), not to mention robins and wrens singing in the pine trees. 

And so as spring fades into summer, I'm looking forward to our next wildlife encounters during the new season.  

Puffins, fossils & beach walks

13 May 2022

Waking up to the sound of birds singing in the trees amongst our secluded log cabin, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore as we wandered along the beach, spotting puffins perched on the cliff rocks and searching for fossils at the beach.  A long weekend away to the Yorkshire Coast was just what was needed.

On our first day we went for an afternoon walk along the beach of Hornsea. The tide had started to come in and so it was interesting to see just how powerful the waves were as they crashed against the seawall. As always, I'm up for learning about nerdy environment things and so Alex was teaching me the coastal flood defenses, groynes and how erosion is formed at the beach as we walked along the seawall. I also spotted what I think were sanderlings, they were searching between the pebbles for food and then flew off when the waves started to get closer to them. 

The next day we drove up to Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head, two of my favourite spots for wildlife watching. I was determined to lookout for puffins for Alex to see and after a while of searching, we finally saw a number of them perched on the cliff edges and flying across the sea in search of food to bring back to their nests. Gannets, kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills were everywhere, but there was no sign of the black-browed albatross, which unfortunately showed up the next day, typical! 

Next up was a walk along Robin Hood's Bay, this beautiful stretch of coastline is perfect for fossil hunting! No dinosaurs were found, but there were a few little shell fossils that we found amongst the pebbles. We looked up to find sand martins zooming above our heads, swopping low across the rock pools and then back up to the cliff edge to their nest sites. 

Our final trip was to Whitby Bay, where chips followed by an ice cream was a must have. We walked along the pier up towards the lighthouses where we watched the boats and pirate ships make their way back into the harbour. In the distance we saw people walking up the 199 steps up towards the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey.

I'm missing the sea, although I'm looking forward to our next coastal adventure.