No Sign of Spring…

Sunless dial, Castle Howard Garden Centre, Yorks.

Friday afternoon, very few people about – shops idle, waiting for the weekend. Still feels a bit bleak and wintry, and were all waiting for the beast from the north east that is set to arrive in the middle of next week, with temps down to -10 up North, and more snow…





Wetlands & Straw Bales


Looking for something interesting to do now the weather is on the turn…. or at least it was before this weeks persistent rain … we made our way to the North Cave Wetlands, in East Yorkshire. Sited in a flooded quarry, this bird reserve is on the extensive side.

After a drive down the long access track, we came to a cavernous bird hide that is the stuff of Grand Designs – built fairly rapidly of timber and straw bale construction.

While eyebrows may be raised at its flammability, the compacted straw bales have passed a two hour fire test. The surrounding water levels are regulated to control vegetation growth in the winter and provide a suitable habitat for regulars and  overwintering birds.

Within a couple of minutes our binoculars were trained on lapwings, snipes, gold finches and tree sparrows plus a wide variety of other waterfowl. We had a cursory glance at the other smaller hides and facilities, which included a snack van, and ear marked the reserve for a return visit on a warmer day.


Ice Blue


Taken earlier in the week as the freeze set in; we were distracted by snow, 30mph winds and a minus 12 wind chill after that. Most of it cleared in the sun. There’s been more snow today but temps are set to rise fairly rapidly into next week…. up to 10 degrees in Yorks and Lincs.