Where the Woodbine twinethTuesday 8th August 2000
CANDY-COLOURED trumpets of Lesser Bindweed are in flower alongside the larger white flowers of Greater Bindweed, climbing amongst the weeds and tall grasses by the edge of a farm track.
By the way, I can't find my title quote, 'where the woodbine twineth' in my dictionary of quotations. My vague memory is that it was used as the title of an episode of the television series Boris Karloff's Thriller in the early 1960s! Sounds like Robert Burns?
A few Wall Browns and a dozen or so Gatekeepers visit the wayside flowers, giving me a chance to improve on my identifications. Take a close look at the eye-spot on the underside of the forewing of the gatekeeper (left) and you'll notice that it has two white dots on it, each the size of a small full stop, instead of the single dot that you might expect.
The close-cropped turf of the cricket pitch by the Horse and Jockey attracts both Grey and Pied Wagtails and, unusually, one of the circling House Martins, which lands beside the grey wagtail. A Swallow weaves along hawking for insects only a foot above the ground.
It's good to see that a habitat as unpromising for wildlife as half an acre of grass can attract these insect-eating birds. Today even the little beer garden behind the pub has a visiting pair of Greenfinches and a Chaffinch.
We visit friends who live in Wakefield. Considering how near we are to the centre of the city, they have a quiet outlook at the back of their house (apart from passing trains). The cathedral bells, half a mile away, are pealing, loose chevrons of gulls, up to two hundred strong, make their way north in the twilight and, before we go indoors, the first bat has appeared and circled briefly above our heads.