Talking of Avril - yesterday her garden - very near the main road at Totley Rise - was full of redwings feeding on cotoneaster berries.
After breakfast, Maisie and I set off through the park. The chaffinches are very much in evidence at the bottom - including some beautiful buff pink breasts on the males. How come
I only see them there in Winter? Then, onto Gillfield Woods. Lots of squeaking from long tailed tits flitting about in the trees. And yesterday and today are the first times for ages that I have heard the bicycle pump noises of the great tits. Do they stop doing this for much of the year?
Although ancient, Gillfield Woods were replanted sometime mid last century with American Red Oak replacing the native oak. The difference in the leaves is very noticable.
American red oak (left); native oak (right)
According to Mel Jones, an expert on local woodland, this will have had quite an effect on the flora and fauna of these woods. However, they are still full of bluebells and wood anemones in the Spring.
Back via Totley Hall Lane and the church to see whether the rumour was true - that the evalgelical vicar had chopped down several mature trees. It was. Not very Christian eh? Perhaps he'd like to be more evangelical about trees. Inside I could hear them all twanging their guitars and clapping along.