Wild @ Rivers - March 2017

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Pussy Willow

The Pussy Willow is flowering vigorously, its yellow flowers like tiny fluffy chicks perched along its black branches. Bumble Bees and Solitary Bees are busily buzzing through the branches as they search for nectar among the flowers. Over the sound of buzzing Bees the Green Woodpeckers’ yaffle can be heard resonating through the old scrub. On a beautiful spring like day the air is full of bird song. In our busy world it is worth taking time to stop and listen and enjoy the warm sunshine and the call of birds after the cold winter months. Chaffinches chup and tweet to each other, a familiar call in the scrub. The Song Thrush’s beautiful but repetitive phrases are delivered from the top of the tall Silver Birch tree so that all are aware of its presence. A haunting melody announces the arrival of a Robin on a nearby branch where it perches to sing before darting off into the undergrowth. The Great Tits’ call of tui tui to our ear sounds like they are shouting ‘teacher teacher’ to each other; a loud call that bounces across the scrub. The dark silhouette of the Blackbird passes over, it descends into the Hawthorn where it begins to sing its delightful fruity song that is full of joy heralding the spring weather. Passing over the nursery scrub is a Cormorant, its neck stretched out as it flies onwards to water where it will settle.

Plum Blossom

The orchard is slowly awakening from its winter slumber. The Plum trees are beginning to burst into blossom in the warm sunshine and a few Bees are buzzing through the white blossom. The Apple trees are still bare but the Cherry trees are showing tiny buds. Great Tits call in the orchard and a Jay bounces through the bare limbs of the Pear tree before descending into the grass under the tree.


The fruit trees are still dormant in the meadow as Rabbits scuttle away into the hedgerow where the Blackthorn trees are flowering, their white blossom attracting more Bees and the first of the spring Butterflies to visit the meadow; a Peacock. The white Egret has also returned to the meadow; this maybe the last sighting before it disappears to breed. A Muntjac emerging from the scrub is oblivious to the bird and startles it into the air. The Muntjac is also startled and turns tail and runs back into the scrub, its tail flicking furiously as it darts away. The Magpies forage amongst the grass that is beginning to grow and the awakening leaves of the Cowslip. In the nursery scrub the wild Mahonia is blooming, a brilliant yellow amongst the still bare branches. A Hoverfly greedily seeks nectar from its scented flowers.

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