30 Days Wild – Day 10 – Chatsworth House

We were at Chatsworth House for the RHS Flower Show today. The actual show was a little underwhelming (too busy, too muddy) but there were some great wild highlights.

Probably the biggest highlight was the sheer number of Sand Martins along the Derwent, even though the banks were only a couple of feet high. We probably spent as much time watching them as we did looking at stalls of plants.

Martins not shown

There were also a pair of Great Crested Grebes there, and several Tufted Ducks and Mallards.

As with any flower show, you can almost have as much fun spotting the various bees taking advantage of the influx of pollen and nectar sources. At one point we spotted a bumblebee in serious danger of being trampled into the soggy ground, so I had to get down there and retrieve it. But when I tried to encourage it onto a plant, it was having none of it. My finger was a much safer spot. It finally did step onto a leaf, but as I pulled away it was clinging for dear life to my finger with one leg!

We did identify plenty of new plants to add to our own garden, so hopefully the bees will enjoy them there just as much.

Actually the real highlight was on the train down. A few miles outside of York I managed to spot a Barn Owl hunting by the side of the railway line. It even dropped on a fence post. Some quality train birding. 

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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