Friday, March 16, 2007

The Grime

The Grime

I had to get out and wander on Wednesday lunchtime and the closest place to the office is the Grime, or Grimeshaw Wood, Bretton, Peterborough, if you insist. This patch of ancient woodland has been rudely subdivided and crossed with roads to make way for the modern housing estate that is Bretton, a curious place, where it seems that perhaps the majority of residents have no idea that they live on the very edge of the countryside. The north-south road that cuts through the various parts of the Grime also provides a geographical 'tracks' with dense housing, no pavements, and a certain number of chavs on the east, with giveaway coloured road signs. To the west are big houses, open lawns, silence bar birdsong and black writing on white road names.
Some of these houses back directly onto the part of the Grime I visit. Bounded on one side by the road on the other the fields of the Milton Estate, the leaves are still not out, but the ground is starting to green upwards, with Cuckoo Pints and Lesser Celandines, Ramsons and the first signs of Cow Parsley and the leaves of Bluebells-to-come everywhere.
Tits still dominate the birdsong, with Blue Tits getting a higher count than Great Tits (compared to last time I was here a week ago). The Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps aren't in yet.
Bird highlights were a Great Spotted Woodpecker male seemingly excavating, and the remudding of last year's Nuthatch nesthole, to the accompaniment of the partner's song.
Best of all, though, remained unseen. It was the mewing yelping of displaying Sparrowhawks. I took it that the deeper call was the female and the squeeky one the male. They were doubtless putting on a great display of dancing and diving up above the unaware heads of residents over on the east side of the tracks, but if they didn't see them, neither did I...

View west to the Milton estate.

Lesser Celandine

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