Wild @ Rivers - March 2015

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Muntjac Deer

Wind and hail herald the arrival of March but within a few days the sun comes out and the strong winds and sunshine begin to dry the puddles around the meadow and scrub. A passing Muntjac’s hoof prints become fixed in the drying mud. The nursery scrub is quiet and sunny as a Fox jauntily trots along the footpath enjoying the warm sunshine on its red-brown coat. Instinctively the Fox freezes, all its senses heightened to danger; quietly it turns and slips deeper into the undergrowth. Further into the scrub Blue Tits and Great Tits are singing their territorial songs. As one bird completes his tune another picks it up and sings out. The whole area resonates with the song of these colourful little birds.

Tortoiseshell Butterflies

With the warmer days the first Butterflies emerge. Darting along the nursery footpath is the yellow, male Brimstone Butterfly, a splash of vivid colour among the bare branches. Two Tortoiseshell Butterflies rise up from the grass and flutter off together before settling again on a sunnier patch.


After the partial eclipse and the initial grey start the day brightens. In the Orchard’s hedge the little brown Wren screeches its alarm call as a Magpie forages in the ditch. The tiny little bird becomes more agitated as it bounces through the Ivy and twigs, holding its tail erect and constantly twittering. Two Great Tits and a Blue Tit join in the commotion and the orchard echoes to the sound of alarm calls as the Magpie continues hunting. Eventually the Magpie flies up and leaves the distressed birds to settle. Further into the meadow the cheerful song of the Robin can be heard from the hedgerow. The Robin’s red chest reveals its perch and its beak opens wide as he trills his song.

Orchard Sunset

Strong winds return to the Orchard and Magpies, Blackbirds and the cheeky Robin seek shelter in the hedgerow as the rain lashes down. The Pussy Willow tree is battered by the gusting winds and its fluffy yellow blossom is torn from its branches and lays scattered on the wet earth. March does not go out quietly.

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