Archive for the ‘Lincolnshire’ Category

On our way to Lincoln, we stopped off at Kirkby gravel pits, a nature reserve run by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The highlight here was the large nesting colony of Black-headed Gulls.

Coot with Young

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

The old part of Lincoln is situated on a hill overlooking the River and has been occupied since Roman times.

The remains of a Roman gateway to Lincoln

The old town is full of medieval buildings

The towers of the Cathedral dominate the skyline

Centuries prior to the building of the Norman castle, the Romans had built a legionary fortress on the hill overlooking the River Witham.

The Normans created a motte and bailey castle here in 1068. Stone castle walls were erected by the end of the 11th century, replacing the original wooden palisade and a stone keep was also added shortly afterwards.

In 1141, Lincoln was the site of a battle ‘The Joust of Lincoln’ in the war between Stephen and Matilda for the English throne. King Stephen was captured during the battle and was held for some months before being exchanged for Matilda’s half-brother. Stephen went on to win the war and established himself firmly as England’s King.

It was beseiged 1191 and again in 1217 during the troubles between King John and the Barons and the castle held on both occasions under the control of its formidable constable, Lady Nicola de la Haye. It was also beseiged in 1644 when it was held by Royalists against the Parliamentarian forces although on this occasion it was forced to surrender.

In 1788 a prison block was built within the castle holding both criminals and debtors. In 1826 a courthouse building was added to the castle interior and in 1848 the criminal part of the jail was demolished and a new prison was built to hold short term prisoners awaiting trial at the Lincoln courts. This prison was one of the first to use the ‘separate system’ in which prisoners had their own cells. However, due to the number of prisoners who needed to be housed this was soon abandoned. The prison closed in 1878, just 30 years after its opening.

Today the prison and the castle walls are open to the public. In a specially designed vault in the castle grounds, it is also possible to see a number of ancient documents including Lincoln’s copy of Magna Carta.

What Lincoln Cathedral may lack in ancient monuments it certainly makes up for in wonderful stained glass.

My major impression of Lincoln Cathedral was just how empty it was. There was not the usual selection of tombs and monuments and there was a great feeling of empty space, which I was unsure whether I found this good or bad thing, just noticeably different from many other Cathedrals I have visited.

Lincoln Cathedral

Posted: May 21, 2019 in History, Lincolnshire, UK
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Norman power was established in Lincoln in the years following the battle of Hastings and the Normans built a castle in the town. Remegius was named the first Bishop of Lincoln in 1072 and he set about building a new Cathedral on the site of a pre-existing church. Sadly although Remegius lived to see the completion of his Cathedral, he died hours before it was due to be consecrated in 1092.

The next 80 years would not be kind to the new Cathedral with fires in 1124 and 1141 and an earthquake in 1185 causing major damage to the building. In 1192 Bishop Hugh of Avalon set about building a new Cathedral, the building we see today.

In the 14th Century, the towers were raised in height and for 200 years Lincoln Cathedral was reputed to be the tallest building in the world. A number of chantry chapels were added in the 15th Century.

River Welland at Deeping

We started that day at Deeping Lakes, a Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserve near Spalding. This is a group of Lakes in old gravel workings and consists of one large lake plus two groups of smaller lakes. We first went to have a look at the River Welland and soon located the Western Cattle Egret that has been present on this site for some days. We then followed the nature trail and went to explore the main lake and the west lake from the hides which overlook them. Apart from Mute Swans, Black-headed Gulls and hundreds of Swallows and Sand Martins they were quiet.

Deeping lakes

The East Lakes, however, had a wide variety of birds including Oystercatcher, Avocet, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. In addition, there were Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Black-headed Gulls with a few Herring Gulls. As with the other lakes, there were large numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins, together with some House Martins and Common Swifts. A group of terns were present but on examination, they were all Common Tern.

After a stop for coffee in Spalding, we returned to the RSPB reserve at Frampton on the Wash. A Common Cuckoo called as we arrived in the car park. From the Visitors centre we were able to see groups of Swallows restring in the reed-bed.

Frampton Marsh

Leaving the Visitor centre I made my way down towards the hides in the middle of the reserve. A pair of Little Ringed Plover were on the marsh and a Black Tern passed over without stopping. Out on the marsh, a party of 80 Brent Geese were resting and other parties could be seen moving along the coast.

My final stop was the marsh by the visitor centre. A party of Black-tailed Godwits mixed with some Ruff. A single Greenshank and Spotted Redshank were also seen. 5 Barnacle geese fed on a distant field – these should have left for their breeding grounds by now.

An excellent day’s birdwatching.

Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Black Tern [sp] (Chlidonias niger)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

It’s international dawn chorus day and my birthday and so a bright start to the day saw Sue and I at the RSPB reserve at Frampton Marsh for a dawn chorus bird walk. Setting off with 3 others and our 2 guides we had immediate excitement as one of the guides spotted a flying Wood Sandpiper. Unfortunately, it landed in vegetation and although it was no great distance from us it was lost in the vegetation and not seen again.

Following a hedgerow path, we had soon heard and saw Sedge and Reed Warblers and heard a Lesser Whitethroat calling from deep inside a bush. Further on a Blackcap was singing and there were a number of Goldfinches and Wrens.

Goldfinch

We were fortunate to find a Turtle Dove perched in a dead tree, which enabled everyone to get good, if distant, looks at this species which it is likely will no longer be a breeding species in the UK within the next 10 years due to persecution on migration and habitat destruction.

Turtle Dove (archive)

Other highlights were some very fine Ruff in all their splendour and a Whimbrel.

On returning to the visitor centre, and whilst looking to relocate the Wood Sandpiper seen earlier, I was surprised to find 2 Barnacle Geese, which should have left for their Arctic breeding grounds by now.

Barnacle Goose

After a very good lunch (Kirton Cottage, Kirton – highly recommended) we went to the RSPB reserve at Frieston Shore. It was much quieter here but I did find 4 Eurasian Wigeon and had a couple of Terns fly over although I was unable to get a definite  identity (Arctic or Common).

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)