Sunday, 14 August 2011


Up until around two months ago I always thought we only got Goldcrests in the garden during passage times - they can often be seen or heard singing in surrounding gardens during the Autumn and Spring passage. But this summer I've been hearing a bird singing from a few gardens up on several occasions and came to the conclusion that they must be resident! But where, that was the question. I found the answer to this pondering this morning when I walked up to the end of my road and along a footpath that links up with the estate behind the row of houses that I live in. The path runs parallel to the motorway and is separated from the noisy, pollution ridden road by a wedge of coniferous woodland (presumably planted to give the residents of my street some respite from the motorway noise - it doesnt work) and it was here I located what appeared to be a family party of 5 goldcrests! Boom! And also a wren. Boom! This does appear to be where they've bred and possibly explains why I only normally hear them intermittedly - because the area I found them is well out of earshot of the house they presumably only venture down the row of gardens far enough for me to hear them occasionally.
What was satisfying about this venture was that I hadn't even considered finding them there today, I'd wandered up there in the hope of possibly finding a warbler or two (failed miserably on that count) and with the intention of investigating the state of the den/treehouse that me and a neighbour had constructed in the woodland about 15 years ago! The "den" was in a right state and had appeared to have housed a tramp in the intervening years since my last visit! Either that or the foxes round here have taken to using cans of red stripe as bedding! Didnt even attempt the treehouse, it was unstable at the best of times and 15 years of rot would surely have meant total and complete death if I had climbed it. It's still standing though, I put that down to the superior building skills of two 9 year olds!
The visit did end up pissing me right off though, the footpath is almost never used anymore (the new housing estate on Queens Drive meant it was easier to use the footbridge that crosses the motorway further along) and as a result is terribly overgrown and cannot be classed as a footpath anymore. Or even a path for that matter. Now this wouldn't normally annoy me as im aware the footpath isn't used like it once was and I do take enjoyment in having to forge my own route through thick growth but what did piss me off was the amount of dumped waste down there. It was nearly all garden waste which I suppose is the best sort of dumped waste because it will at least decompose eventually but it still annoyed me. And this is why. I have my suspicions that all of it was dumped by the two houses closest to the footpath (there was a large amount of pampas grass cuttings, and who is the only one on the street with pampas grass? two from the end, thats who!) and this just strikes me as pure cunting laziness.
Blaby recycling centre is a 5 minute (probably less) drive away, infact you would be hard pushed to be closer to a suitable waste collection center and at this time of year it has a phenomenal area available for garden waste. So my neighbours decision to barrow his waste from his house to dump it on the nearby footpath probably spent more effort than if he had just taken it to the fucking tip in the first place!
And besides, even if they couldnt be arsed to take it to the tip, the local council will gladly rent you a garden waste bin if required and although yes, a small fee is required which works out at about £1.50 a month those fuckers in their 400k houses can surely afford it.
And even if you are tight and lazy theres a 3rd solution! Have a fucking compost heap in your fucking garden! The houses on this road all have pretty big gardens as gardens go (about 100m long) and each and every one has more than enough space for a compost heap. We have 3!

........Ah I feel better now, rant on here done and rant to the council sent.

Now for yesterday.....
As previously claimed, I did not drag myself out of bed early on Saturday morning to go to Rutland. I dragged myself out on saturday afternoon down to Jubilee park instead because there was definately going to be more interesting passage waders down there as opposed to that tiny pond in Rutland. Shockingly there wasnt. A hour down there produced a whopping 300+ Canada Geese (you know things are bad when you start counting them), a similar amount of Corvids, 4 Stock doves, 18 Lapwing, 2 whole tufted ducks, a mallard and a swan around the small lake. Wandering around aimlessly produced Song Thrush, GSW, singular Reed warbler and Blackcap, and a patch tick Skylark! Get in theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere. Yes thats how shit my patch is, skylarks are mega! Now I think on it I havent compiled a proper patch list. Must do that.
Still no Kingfisher here this year, will be the first year since I started fishing there in the mid 90's that I havn't seen one. On a slightly more positive note I havent seen any signal crayfish in the river this year either. Last year, particularly around the confluence with the Sence there were hundreds of the buggers!

Fish species seen yesterday:
Chub (one large individual that must have been pushing 4lb, cracking size for a summer chub)
Gudgeon (large shoal in the "beach" swim)
3 Spined Stickleback (two at the confluence)

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