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Rivers Heritage

Wild @ Rivers - April 2016

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper


Spring has arrived; the air is warm and the sun is shining and heralds the arrival of Butterflies. The first to make an appearance in the orchard is the yellow male Brimstone Butterfly, fluttering through the Apple trees, a splash of bright colour amongst the still bare branches. In the orchard’s scrub the ragged winged Comma Butterfly is darting through the undergrowth; its orange wings close as the Butterfly settles on the grass, displaying a brown leaf shape with the white comma marking. Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies flit through the foliage, briefly settling before darting off in search of mates. The tiny blue flowers of the Forget-me-not bloom in the shade of the Hawthorn while deeper into the scrub Primroses are flowering. The Butterflies are not alone in enjoying the warmth of the day; hidden in the long grass lies a Fox, barely visible, its red coat blending with the brown grass. Every muscle of the Fox is alert to danger; even as it rests its ears twitch as they listen for every movement around.


The returning Chiffchaff calls from within the scrub and is answered by another across the scrub. The Green Woodpecker’s yaffle punctuates the song of the two Chiffchaffs before the scrub falls silent. Above, the piercing cry of the Buzzard as it drifts through the blue and white clouded sky. Slowly the Buzzard spirals round and round, its underside clearly visible as it climbs higher and higher into the sky.


Another warm and sunny day and the orchard is full of bird song. In the orchard’s ditch Celandine is flowering; the golden petals shine brightly amongst the mound of dark green leaves. Chaffinches are singing and the Blackbirds’ melody fills the air. Great Tits call to each other and the little Blue Tit bounces through the trees. The crafty Jay is foraging under the apple trees and flies off into the hedgerow as a Woodpigeon descends on to a nearby tree. At the orchard’s exit the strong odour of a Fox passing through earlier in the morning.


After heavy rain the sun returns and once again the birds resume their territorial singing. On this occasion the birds are not visible but the song of Blackbird, Chaffinch and Great Tits can be heard filling the orchard with joyful sound as the blossom on the Plum trees flowers. Above, the Buzzard has returned to patrol the skies over the orchard.

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