1982 February to May

February ??
I walked over the moor today, where I saw a pair of Red Grouse. I like the sound of their
'cackling' cry. I saw two Coal Tits flitting through the trees. I never knew any of these pretty little birds lived so near home.

February 28th
This evening the sky was grey and it was raining. The Geese were swimming on the reservoir and there was one male Pochard duck – a handsome bird with chestnut head and grey back.

March 5th
I saw the first wild flower of this year, a Coltsfoot on the pavement.

March 7th
All day it has been cloudy. Last night I heard a Tawny Owl hooting, and I saw one on the Lane on Friday night. On the lodge I saw a beautiful black and white male Goldeneye, my favourite duck.

April 5th
On the Larches there are tufts of green as new needles appear. By the lodge and pond there are slabs of frogspawn which were laid in a few inches of water which has since dried out. I have managed to rescue a few clusters but most will die. I saw the first lamb today at the top of Hill Sixty - A pair of twins born yesterday. Some of the Pussy Willows have catkins covered in yellow pollen.

April 19th
The sky was clear blue with warm sunshine and a chill wind. There are loads of Coltsfoot on the pavement. Many Redshanks have been seen flying round the reservoir. A noisy male Chaffinch has visited the yard nearly every day this week.

April 21st
The sun is very warm, the sky blue with very few clouds. In the back garden I saw a shiny green Beetle. Their backs shine all different colours in the sun. I also saw my first butterfly of the year - a Small Tortoiseshell.

April 22nd
Today it was as warm as yesterday. At school I saw a large plump black Minotaur Beetle. In Pump House Wood the Lime trees are just opening their small soft emerald leaves.

April 25th
The sun has shone all day; it was a bit warm with blue sky and white clouds. All my tadpoles have now hatched. About three weeks ago I saw some Starlings bathing in the stream. They ruffled their feathers and dipped in and out of the water. Yesterday I saw a pair of courting Wood Pigeons by the lonely Hawthorn in Radcliffe’s Hay Meadow. One bowed to the other until its head touched its toes and its tail stuck in the air.

April 29th
This morning it was raining and the sky was grey until late afternoon, when it cleared to light blue with tiny grey clouds. A Kingcup was flowering in the Lane Field. I am delighted to say a Primrose plant I brought back from the Lake District has a pale yellow flower on it and three or four other buds. The Primrose is one of my favourite flowers.

April 30th
The weather is the same as yesterday – a strong gusty wind, more rain, and the sky grey all day. In the garden and the Willows Den, where I planted Lungwort (Mother Spilt Milk), it has started growing. It has several delicate, blue and mauve, pink-purple flowers with characteristic white spotted green leaves.

Continued 1982 may