Wild @ Rivers - April 2017

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper


Peacock

Spring has finally sprung and the emergence of several spring Butterflies heralds its arrival. The bright yellow wings of the male Brimstone Butterfly are striking against the newly emerging foliage of the Hawthorn bushes in the nursery scrub. Further on a fresh Peacock Butterfly flutters along the path and disturbs a Tortoiseshell Butterfly. They both spiral upwards into the warm air and the sunshine before parting and flying off. Wandering along the path the scrub is filled with the call of the returning Chiffchaffs, their call matching their name.


Celandine

The orchard is awakening; more fruit trees are blossoming and the insects are returning to seek nectar. Along the ditch the golden petals of the Celandine push against the grass seeking the sun. Cowslips are scattered under the fruit trees and throughout the orchard meadow there are many more Cowslips, their slender stems with nodding bell shaped flowers hanging above the golden heads of the humble Dandelion. Although hated by gardeners the Dandelion provides a lifeline to our fast declining Bumble Bees as they seek this early nectar source. In the clear blue sky above a Kestrel is hunting; almost motionless it hovers above the meadow watching its prey below unaware that above it a Buzzard is circling. The stillness of the morning is pierced by the mewing call of the Buzzard as it drifts on.


Small Tortoiseshell

Cowslips are popping up throughout the scrub along with the violet-blue flowers of the Ground Ivy. The Hawthorn bushes are greening up rapidly, the tiny leaves growing larger and small tight flower buds are beginning to develop. In the warm sunshine another Brimstone Butterfly is fluttering along the path. Above the nursery scrub a Red Kite is drifting in the warm air enjoying the thermals. Watching the Kite as it drifts, a Buzzard appears in the sky; its plaintive call is answered by another Buzzard that quickly drifts into view. The two birds circle together as the Red Kite climbs higher and disappears into the sky. The mewing echoes across the sky and yet another Buzzard arrives. All three circle together calling to each other. Minutes pass before they drift away from above the scrub, becoming specks in the blue.


Bee_on_Dandelion

Bees are busily buzzing in the orchard’s fruit trees and the Apple trees, now blossoming, are visited by Bees laden with pollen sacs on their hairy legs. Another spring Butterfly dances through the orchard; the Orange Tip Butterfly easily identified by its wing tips of bright orange. The Pear trees are developing small swelling fruits; the tiny hard fruit will need plenty of water to swell them but there is little rain falling and this month has been very dry. No April showers of any significance.


Apple Blossom

Cowslip

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