Another busy day, starting with a big surprise (as usual, click on blog images for full view – and on a computer it is worth looking at the larger views, use browser back arrow to leave image). Walking down to Colchester Station from Myland I pass a set of large bushes and small trees which are always bursting with the sound of sparrows, though the bushes are so dense that only the occasional sparrow is visible. Today it was silent. Very strange.
Then as I walked past, this bird that definitely wasn’t a wood pigeon burst from the bushes over the nearby rooftops. By the time I’d grabbed the camera it was soaring above me, rapidly gaining height – a sparrow hawk:
No wonder the sparrows were silent. One of them had probably been providing breakfast, so to speak.
Having put the camera away because I was nearing the busy station, I suddenly found myself surrounded by another blizzard of goldfinches (see previous post 26 April). They were scrambling all over a horse chestnut tree:
…digging into the large knot-holes – for insect grubs, I suppose (unless they were seeking tree sap):
The grassy bank on the approach to the station was covered with the tiny purple flowers of common storks bill (Erodium cicutarium):
Finally on the train, the sky was fair-weather cumulus all the way into Stratford:
St Andrew’s Church, Marks Tey, looking particularly fine with all the willows, poplar and ornamental plum bursting into leaf.
The Lone Oak to the east of Shenfield (actually opposite Mountnessing) coming into leaf.
Finally arriving at Galleon’s Reach DLR Station from Stratford, I thought these next two were each worth a picture:
Not waves on the sea, but very high, very fine cirrus, rolling on waves in the upper atmosphere.
…and a delightful set of dragon’s teeth drawn out from an aeroplane contrail.
Meanwhile London City Airport was as busy as ever, with planes taking off towards the O2 Dome and Canary Wharf:
In the evening, heading home, I was waiting on Galleon’s Reach (elevated) DLR Station platform when a kestrel started hunting over the waste ground near the station: