ALAN!!!

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Sorry. You probably have to be my age to remember this.

It wasn’t as nice a day today as yesterday, but still warm enough for me to have been able to spend an hour or so outside, communing with nature. I was hunting leafhoppers in the secret garden when this robin landed in a tree just the other side of the hedge, and began singing lustily. Every few seconds it would pause to assess the responses, of which R and I reckoned that we could hear several from our garden and our neighbours’.

Down in the wildlife garden, my best ‘spot’ of the day was a male great spotted woodpecker, ripping and gouging the bark of a maple tree – a remarkably quiet operation, given the unholy mess he was making, and one that only caught my eye because of his bobbing tri-coloured head. The limb he was attacking wasn’t thick enough for him to have been exploring a possible nest site, so he must have been excavating for food; I can only hope that the branch survives the extensive damage it suffered. Sadly, due to distance and a tangle of twigs surrounding and half-concealing the crime scene, I only managed record shots of this event, but it was very interesting to have watched it.