A dirty smudge and some dirt

I’ve seen Panstarrs!  Well, it seemed to be a dirty smudge in the right place, towards the northwest close to the Andromeda Galaxy.  I had to find it from Cassiopeia since the trees are too low to see Pegasus at this time of year.  I had to dodge around to get a gap in the trees, too, and to avoid the street lights, but I succeeded. It will get closer to Cassiopeia up to early June, but also fainter.  Maybe I’ll see it again, but if not, so long, buddy, and good luck!

The spring continues to be elusive, but it has given me the chance to empty compost heaps onto the vegetable patches and give them a breather before any planting starts.  I have sown a load of seed in modules since once the weather finally improves there’ll be no time to lose.  I gave some thought to what I should change to growing if the climate change option 24 comes into force – very much cooler climate for mid & south England instead of that Mediterranean option 1.  Option 26 is the return of the ice age, so watch out 😦

Up till this week there have still been plenty of greenfinches around in my garden, and the odd siskin.  I did my first Breeding Bird Survey of the season, on its normal date, and saw a flock of redwing and a siskin.  That’s a first for this area.  It was also a first to see no summer visitors at all.  However, a few milder, sunny days at the start of this week have got things moving – the guinea pigs got out in the garden on Sunday and Wednesday, and finally a summer visitor arrived – a chiffchaff chiffing his head off yesterday (Thurs 11th).  Sadly, I found a dead reed bunting at my back door the same afternoon.  I’ve had a group of up to four males and three females visiting the fat and seed in my garden since mid-Feb.  I suspect this one may have been startled by the sparrowhawk into flying into the glass door.  It didn’t look as if its neck was broken, but it was certainly dead.  Such a shame.  They are such beautiful, smart birds – but it seemed so much smaller in the hand than it did looking at it in the tree!

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