On Thursday afternoons I go training with Tilly, my dog to Stour Row. The skies had cleared and it was blue skies and glorious sunshine, if it wasn’t for the chilly wind it almost felt like spring! I spite of that nature is definitely on the move, it’s starting to get greener by the day, the birds are busy pairing up and are more active now.

On the way, near Stour Row on a narrow lane I spotted a bird flying just in front of the car, I knew by it’s flight it was something different from the usual. It landed in front of me, luckily no one was behind me and I was going slowly and I was able to stop, it was a male Sparrowhawk such lovely markings, it stayed there for a short time and then flew off down the road and over the hedge.

After training I give myself and Tilly a treat and go for a walk in Duncliffe Woods, owned by the Woodland Trust. I had another raptor encounter as we approached the wood on foot. There was a kestrel hovering as I walked up to the wood, no time for a picture as it soon swooped away.

Moss covered tree
Moss covered tree

The woodland is bursting into life, plenty of birdlife in the trees but not always easy to spot. The Bluebell leaves are well advanced and I am looking forward to an early morning visit at dawn when they are flowering. The Honeysuckle is leafing up and many other woodland plants starting to show.

Late afternoon light, Duncliffe Wood
Late afternoon light, Duncliffe Wood

I couldn’t believe my luck as I had another encounter with a Kestrel on route home, a near miss as it came up from the side of the road with something in it’s talons in front of the car.

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