I packed my week’s permitted exercise into one day and walked out to the Owthorpe area via Borders Wood and back home through Cotgrave Forest seeing and hearing just two Buzzards and no other raptors despite clear blue skies and a bracing easterly. I did hear my first Lesser Whitethroat though.

Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba)

Hoary Cress is now on show along our lanes and the soft verges along the track adjacent to the A46 have a massive population of Glaucous Sedge.

Glaucous Sedge (Carex flacca)

Despite extensive looking in the very nice wildlife ponds at the A46 I managed to see just two tadpoles but this puddle in a wheel rut in Borders Wood was chock-a-block with them.

Borders Wood also hosted my first odonata of the year – predictably Large Red Damselfly.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma mymphula)

Views from the footpath near Cropwell Wolds Farm are immense with a near 180° panorama of the Belvoir escarpment to the east and most of Nottingham to the north-west.

Nottingham and beyond
We occasionally get birds (just small ones) on our mouse table.



A few hours (oops sorry Mr Gove – just the one permitted hour) along Lings Lane in the hope of a passing migrant but Swallow and Whitethroat were the only summer visitors though the latter obliged with a fleeting pose.


And nearby a female Linnet sat watching the world go by for several minutes.


I found the most severe case of Ash die-back I have so far seen, in a hedge along Lings. It is a mature tree but has been flailed as a hedge plant and looks to be entirely dead or soon to be – no attempt to flower or leaf up.

Candidates for Midland Hawthorn are easy to pick out at the moment as they are inclined to come into flower a week or two earlier than their more frequent congener. This one has the requisite two styles but the leaves would not have drawn my suspicion.

Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)

Cuckooflower has multiplied in Keyworth Meadow since the hay crop has been taken off annually and the Cow Parsley that had moved in after years of poor management has all but disappeared. There were no Cuckoos though and since I haven’t seen or heard one in the parish for several years now I don’t expect I ever will again. The chilly NE wind didn’t put off the butterflies.

Orange-tip on Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis)

And here’s a Swallow Prominent that was only half attracted to the light trap a couple of days ago.

Swallow Prominent