Unclean, unclean!

It’s been a too long since I have been to a conference,  and when the major vacuum conference in Europe is ten minutes’ walk from my mum’s flat in Harrogate it was too good to miss.  The last time I gave a presentation in Harrogate I was about 14; this one went a bit better.

It did mean we could spend a couple of weekends up north, with a trip to Northumberland to see the Bridled Tern that was resident at Coquet Island.  This was a British lifer for us, or would have been if we hadn’t gone the day after it had left.  Still, there were smashing views of Puffins and our first Roseate Terns for several years.

The Dales were glorious and a weekend in Flamborough gave yet more seabirds.  Heading down south with a car full of decent beer, Betty’s cakes and other Yorkshire treats, I didn’t realise I was bringing down another souvenir: COVID.

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Cirl Bunting, the first in Sussex since 1996 and a new on-foot bird.
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Are you sure this is safe?

Wildlife garden

It’s an old joke that a garden that’s a complete mess is designated a wildlife garden, and ours certainly fits the bill.  It’s also true, though, with nearly 500 species of moth, 26 species of butterfly, reptiles, 3 amphibians as well as all of the birds (not all of which walk around on the lawn, I’ll admit).

We’ve had the occasional badger in the back field over the years, but the garden has been the preserve of the fox, pipistrelle and a collection of rodents (some less welcome than others).  When Karen saw a badger in the garden a few weeks ago it seemed like a one off.  We haven’t seen it since, but putting her dad’s old trail camera out it seems to be a fairly regular visitor.

(Click the picture to play the video on my OneDrive)