Friday 15 May 2020

Lockdown Day 53 - Minipop sweetcorn and a Kestrel dive

Now that the weather is climbing gradually back to normal temperatures after the frosty nights, it will be time to put out the Minipop Sweetcorn. All bar one of them have germinated and with usually two or three cobs per plant that is going to be mini sweetcorn to go in at least ten stir-fries! Plus there has been no need to air-freight them from the Far East, with the allotment being only two minutes walk from the house! 

These will get planted in a block in order to self pollinate and we put them into the brassica section of the allotment in the rotation. That particular plot is filling up nicely with some cauliflower, cabbages, calabrese, spinach, spinach beet, beetroot and radishes already in with more cauliflowers, purple broccoli and more cabbages still to go in. 

When watering the allotment this evening I noticed a hawk high up in the sky, maybe two or three hundred feet up, hovering. At that distance I wasn't sure whether it was a Kestrel or another bird of prey but suddenly it dived and the speed at which it plummeted it was quite phenomenal! As it reached the neighbouring allotment I could see it was a Kestrel, which are common round here, and it definitely landed on the ground but whether it actually got anything I couldn't see from where I was, although it didn't appear to take off again while I was watching. 
One evening a few years ago, I was walking back from the allotment along the path through the site and a Sparrowhawk was trying to hop along the path with something quite large in its talons, too big for the bird to take off with it. As I walked along it kept hopping down the path in front of me before finally retreating into an allotment. 
We get the Red Kite flying over very regularly, one over again this evening and we have had up to four fly around although two together is more common. I can often see Buzzards circling on thermals high up in the sky and have once had a Peregrine Falcon fly over. The allotments bird species list, not including flyovers, stands at thirty species of bird and if you include birds flying over it is fifty species. 

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