Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Wednesday 7th December Fresh SW
Very mild, 12C
Reaching Chesterfield, the town with the crooked spire atop the town’s main church, sitting in the town library listening to Quadrophenia by The Who on headphones, I am desperate to sing along.
Knowing that the other library users would complain, I sit and type instead.
Today’s cycling was different to the last few days in that there was wind in the face and steep hills to contend with. There was also a security guard, Ash, to contend with at entrance to the library and for the first time for a long time I wasn’t able to leave the bike and The Lads anywhere securely and so had to find tonight’s accommodation by other means.
Saw this in a shop window whilst going to the Chesterfield Tourist Office :-
No problem, find it I did, and after leaving the bike and possession there, I made my way back to the library to catch up with this blog.
Right, what has happened since last I typed?
Monday 5th December
A day off! Stayed in my superb farmhouse bed and breakfast room and sorted out emails and organised some projects for next year. A really lazy day! Fabulous and boy, did my back and joints deserve the rest!
Tuesday 6th December No apparent wind
Very thick fog and very cold, 2C
I cycle to Retford taking as much care as possible due to the tricky weather combination of frozen roads and thick fog. A stop in Kirton in Lyndsey to admire the World war memorial and read of the local RAF heroes.
Tough going it may have been but it was fabulous when a motorist came alongside me as I cycled, well careered down a steep hill. He opened his window and laughingly said I was going 40 mph! (miles per hour) I doubted that but laughed at his cheek.
Good to see that Tigger found it a laugh too in the next village.
38.91 miles 1085 elevation feet up 1099 down
And so to today. 24 days to go and a new life starting at the end of those; volunteer jobs, Israel and Peru. It is going to be interesting but first the little matter of seeing the dusky thrush.
Today’s mileage 25.33 miles 1351 elevation feet up 1108 down
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Sunday 4th December Light E-SE
Mostly sunny, cold as sun went down, 4C to 2C
I cycle to and through Hull and over the Humber Bridge. Not a lot happens except for an exciting moment when a male sparrowhawk almost hit me as it came from behind a hedgerow beside the road!
38.31 miles 928 elevation feet up 625 down
Saturday 3rd December Almost no wind
sunny, Mild, 6C
Flat landscape again and a lack of wind make the cycle from Beverley to Welwick easy enough. Through eastern Hull and along the main road I leave my panniers at a bed and breakfast just before Patrington.
Reaching Welwick saltmarsh nature reserve beside the Humber estuary, there is a group of birders looking over the grasslands. The reported pallid harrier had been seen just before Noon. I stand and wait and chat.
In three hours there are few birds but those seen include many birds of prey; merlin, kestrel, sparrowhawk, buzzard and both hen and marsh harriers.
There are even a few short-eared owls quarter the marsh.
Light is starting to fade when I make the mistake of going for a stroll to warm up my frozen feet. I only walk a hundred yards or so but when I return to the birder group, they are all celebrating the pallid harrier having flown past! Some birders start to leave happy in their distant views.
Ten minutes later a ring-tailed harrier flies towards us. Pallid harrier UTB! Bird number 316.
It flies over fields in a large circular route before appearing in front of us over the saltmarsh again.
Brilliant. Anther great bird goes onto the Green Year list. Will this bird be the last addition to the list?
32.42 miles 524 elevation feet up 550 down