Allerton Towers,13th June 2021

Three of us met on a warm, humid, overcast day. Allerton Towers is an easy “first choice” destination for our first venture out after several months. (See also 9th August and 13th September 2020).

The Hawthorns in the “Hawthorn and Holly” walk seem to be recovering from their bad 2020. They were in sparse leaf, with some blossom going over. The occasional healthy branch showed they are the variety ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ with pink double flowers.

Nearer the orangery two of them were different. They had larger white blossom and simple ovate leaves, and they look like one of the rarer thorns.

Off the walled garden the Laburnum arch had gone over, but still looked pretty.

On the lawn we spotted a huge tree, a False Acacia or Black Locust Robinia pseudoacacia. It was a bit sparse at the top, but it has never been hemmed in and has spread very widely. It had some of its Laburnum-like white flowers, too.

Near the Rose Garden we heard and saw both a Mistle Thrush and then a Song Thrush. There weren’t many birds about, just the ubiquitous Wood Pigeons and Magpies, although we did get a glimpse of a Dunnock. A cone under the Bhutan Pine looked squirrel-chewed, but we broke up the intact lower half looking for how the seeds are formed. They nestle in pairs inside the bottom of the scales.

Home news: Five Swifts appeared over my garden on 1st June, and they are still around, flying low around the houses at sunset. They must nest nearby but I have never spotted them entering any holes under eaves. A pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls have nested amongst the chimneys on a house in Myers Road West. According to the neighbour opposite them, they have three chicks, and are dive- bombing anyone who walks by.  Here’s one of the parents keeping guard (but no chicks to be seen yet).

Other neighbours, with gardens next to mine, say a Hedgehog has been seen again (I saw it myself last summer). I’m seriously thinking of getting a trail camera!

Public transport details: Bus 76 from Queen Square at 10.02, arriving Menlove Avenue / Cheddar Close at 10.40

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