Wild @ Rivers - April / May 2018

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Orchard in April

A Kite soars above the orchard's scrub where Primroses have finally begun to flower. In the orchard's meadow Rabbits are nibbling on the spring grass. The weather is warm and the sunshine has brought out the spring Butterflies and Bumblebees. In the orchard the plum trees blossom while the air is full of the song of birds. Great Tits call from across the fruit trees and a Green Woodpecker's yaffle is heard in the scrub. Amongst the apple trees that have still to blossom Small Tortoiseshell and the yellow male Brimstone Butterflies flutter. Bumblebees buzz through the long grass as they seek nesting sites deep in the tussocks of grass and earth.

Female Orange Tip

Buzzards drift lazily above the scrub in the April sunshine, while below, the recently arrived summer migrant, the Chiffchaff, calls from its hidden perch. Young tender green shoots are appearing on the Hawthorn bushes as they awaken from the long cold winter. The cold wind and rain return but heralds the arrival of a glorious start to May. Despite the early morning rain showers the bright sunshine encourages the birds to sing and the beautiful voice of the Blackbird echoes throughout the scrub. Above the song of the Blackbird the panicky, quavering, shrill kee-kee-kee call of the Kestrel can be heard as it calls to a mate. Passing through the meadow, Rabbits scatter into the scrub. The orchard is quiet as the tall Cow Parsley gently sways in the breeze. A Fox slips out of the hedge and wanders along the path unaware it is being watched. Thunder clouds begin to loom in the sky and the wind is increasing but the Orange Tip Butterfly is still out patrolling along the path.


Various scents of blossom and flowers perfume the air. A young Fox Cub ambles along the scrub footpath, long ears, gangly legs and long tail, enjoying the May sunshine. Surprised, he turns and runs, disappearing into the deep undergrowth. Warm air and rain have encouraged Fungi to grow and Cowslips to fill the scrub, meadow and orchard. Violets are scattered throughout. Close to some nettles a female Brimstone Butterfly has settled; above the large male Brimstone flutters. Hiding among the scrub's Hawthorn trees is the watching Muntjac Deer, its ear twitching as it listens to the rustling and sounds around.

Wild Flowers

Golden headed Dandelions and pale yellow Cowslips that grew in the meadow have withered leaving their seed heads to disperse their seeds into the grass. Drifts of Ox-eye Daisies and Buttercups bloom in among the lush grass of the meadow; the silver and gold of the well known hymn.


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