Wild @ Rivers - May 2016

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper


May arrives with warm sunshine and cobalt blue skies. The Buzzard is soaring silently over the orchard, drifting slowly through the vivid coloured sky. In the orchard’s hedgerow a Chiffchaff is singing, its song echoing its name as it sings. The Pear and Cherry trees are blossoming but the leaves of the Apple trees are still waiting to unfurl. In the orchard’s meadow Cowslips are still blooming but among their withering blooms are the golden cup shaped heads of the Buttercups.


In the nursery scrub, sheltered by the low trees and Hawthorn, the yellow male Brimstone Butterfly is on the wing. Along the footpath in a bright sunlit spot the first of this year’s Speckled Wood Butterflies is darting through the foliage. This year the Hawthorn has produced masses of white blossom. The bushes are dripping with the sweet heady scent of the Hawthorn flowers, filling the scrub with its beautiful perfume. In the grass the delicate blue flowers of the Germander Speedwell jostle alongside the pale pink flower of the Herb Robert, the leaves of this plant emitting a distinctive smell as they are brushed past.


Another warm day in the orchard and the sun is intense and the orchard full of birdsong. The white branched flower heads of the Cow Parsley gently wave in the soft breeze beneath the fruit trees. Blackbirds call alongside the call of the Chiffchaff. Above the orchard, drifting on the thermals is an unusual visitor, a Red Kite. This large bird with its distinctive forked tail is peacefully drifting until it is spotted by a Crow which immediately pursues it, mobbing the larger bird till it tumbles and drops to a lower height before climbing again further on from the Crow.

Egg shells

In the nursery scrub Orange Tip Butterflies have emerged and have joined Peacocks and the Brimstone Butterflies in enjoying the sunshine. Birds are busily nesting and the young are hatching. Empty broken egg shells are scattered along the paths as the parent birds dispose of them away from their nests. Both in the meadow and the scrub the large white heads of the Oxeye Daisy are flowering, their flowers striking in the last of the bright May sunshine.


Herb Robert

Red Kite

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