Spring Things on the Local Patch.
Since Easter, rather a lot of 'Springy things' have been
appearing on my local patch, so here is a selection from my Nature diary of
what I've been seeing.
Another hint was that some of the birds had started nest
building, this one was taken back in February of a Long Tailed Tit pair - I
watched it's construction over about three weeks and at one point in March, did
see Mum or Dad peeping out, whilst either brooding or waiting for the other to
return with food for the youngsters. Going by timescale I think a brood
may have been successfully raised and fledged, although I have not seen a
little troupe in the surrounding trees and bushes. (The photo was taken
with a long lens and cropped, from a respectable distance away - creatures'
welfare first, photos second!) More recently I did encounter a
little group of adults and juveniles as they worked their way along 'their'
corridor of trees.
On a particularly warm morning at the beginning of April, I was treated to the sight of a few early butterflies. I had to watch where I was treading, as Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks were sunning themselves on the ground and as I'd approach, would flutter up and off ahead of me. On the fallow field, a few dandelions were in bloom as well as a mass of blackthorn blossom, however, the brambles, which the butterflies love, were still in bud. My frequent 'adversary' though, stinging nettles, were all sprouting healthily!
Small Tortoiseshell on Stinging Nettles.
Nectaring Peacock on Blackthorn
Meanwhile, back inside the woods, having gone from a sparse few
flecks of blue and pink, there was suddenly a carpet of Bluebells and plenty of
Scarlet Campion in bloom. When it warmed up, the scent from the Bluebells
was just heavenly. The Bluebells which grow in this patch of woodland all
appear to be our native Bluebell with white pollen and 'drooping' stems,
although there is a variation in shades of blue, from the very rich (pictured
below) to softer paler shades.
Within the woods, wrens were busy flitting about and declaring their territories, there are a good half dozen spots along the route I go, where I can watch and listen to these little characters singing as they work their way around their respective 'patch'. There was also quite a bit of scurrying about in the undergrowth around various bramble patches - no doubt the males building a selection of nests for the ladies to choose from. Over the next few months I'm going to be keeping an eye open for youngsters.
Back out on the fallow field, a few more varieties of butterfly were putting in brief appearances, Small Whites and a few colourful Commas with an occasional glimpse of Brimstones and Orange tips as they'd flutter past .
Female Orange Tip
(she closed her wings as she landed & then stayed basking -
definitely the green pattern underneath!)
On a recent evening walk ( a great escape after a day at a desk!) I headed towards the next patch of woodland over. The previous weekend, I had caught hints of garlic on the breeze and decided to see how much of the Wild Garlic had bloomed. As I got closer, the scent got stronger and I was met with the sight of a beautiful white carpet, with patches of Bluebells mingled in around the edges.
Wild Garlic, also known as Ramsons
Wild Garlic and
On my walk back home, there were a fair few rabbits grazing along the edge of the wheatfield, many of them quite new to the world and very young. The adults would keep a watchful eye on the youngsters, who's curiosity would often keep them out slightly longer than their parents. I caught this kit licking his lips after eating his greens!
Along my walk home, I also noticed that a lot of the oak trees had burst into leaf as well as the hawthorn bushes suddenly being in bloom. On one crown of oak leaves, a seven spot ladybird was taking a breather.
Seven Spot Ladybird on an Oak crown
Fresh white Hawthorn Blossom
I have also been keeping a lookout within the woods, to see if I
could spot where the Great Spotted Woodpeckers might be nesting. I'd
observed them in previous years, watching and photographing them over the days
feeding their young. Well, the other week, I spotted some familiar
behaviour and heard some familiar sounds, little woodpeckers calling to be fed!
I think that they are probably about 2 weeks old and Mum and Dad are
being kept very busy. I've found a nice spot to watch them from, about
12m away, where they are not disturbed by me. These are a few of my shots
from the other day...
Mrs Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mr Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mr and Mrs
sharing the work!
That's all for now, but I am continually adding to the
collection over on Flickr - this
album is of nature things on the local patch where I go