Saturday, 21 April 2012

Spring boost

Popping down to the reserve today, ostensibly to put up a copy of the Summer field meeting programme in each of the hides, I met a young family who are new permit holders. They had already been given a copy of the Friends flyer (thanks, Mal!), so you never know, we may be on the point of attaining our youngest recruit. She was in fine voice, bless her, and Mum and Dad were worried she would scare all the birds. However, Baby soon quietened down when a conversation started, giving me that "What the heck are you?" stare that wee bairns do so well. It won't be long before there will be many youngsters, of all sorts of bird species, filling the air with their clamouring cries, as another generation of Nature swells the population. I don't think one more voice will make that much difference!

On the wildlife front, there were a few Common Terns and House Martins to be seen, but they were just passing through. The pair of Garganey were still in evidence, this time on the southern side of the bund. Coltsfoot, Cuckooflower, and a species of Speedwell were in bloom, whilst the Cowslips just keep on giving. There were 5 species of butterfly on the wing: Peacock; Orange Tip; Speckled Wood; Brimstone and Comma. The Blackthorn blossom has just about gone over, but many trees are putting on leaves now, so the colour palette is having a fresh green boost. In between the rain and hail showers, there were some warm, sunny spells. No wonder everything is growing at such a prodigious rate.

Birdsong rang out from practically every bush. Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Wrens were competing with Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Great Tits and Robins to see who could command the most attention. But only this 'Chiffy' was willing to pose for the camera.

ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita
Spring is definitely springing, so I hope you all have the opportunity to experience it in the coming weeks. Enjoy your wildlife watching!

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