Tuesday, 1 May 2012

30th April - Splish Splash

What a difference a day makes, this morning there was blue skies and sunshine, the roads were almost dry and it looked as if the storms of the last two days had never happened.  I took the chance for a lunchtime walk around Old Down Wood.  I walked along the edge of the field, and was quickly alerted to a small bird catching insects from the hawthorn, hoping maybe the weather had bought in a flycatcher I searched for it in the bush only to find it was a female Blackcap.  As I watched it a male sang from the trees behind me.  I walked along the edge of the field listening to Chiffchaff and Blackbirds singing.  On the main track the birch tree was still down so I climbed over it and headed for the crossroads.  The first of many Brimstone butterflies drifted by, refusing to pose to allow me to confirm the first butterfly sighting for over two weeks, as well as the Brimstone a couple of female Orange-Tips flew through.

At the crossroads I was amazed to find the fallen birch had already been cut up.  I said yesterday that someone would have to move, but didn't expect it to be that quick.

The sun was quite warm, and I headed to wards the south footpath I disturbed some small birds in the puddles on the track.  One small warbler flew into the branches by the track, and then unconcerned by my presence dropped back on to the mud, and proceeded to have a bath.  At first I thought it might be a Willow Warbler, the legs are very pale and it was a pale yellow, but looking at the wings they seem quite short, not really projecting beyond base of the tail.  I am of course open to discussion, just recently there has been a lot of debate on Chiffchaff identification.  Unfortunately it never made a sound, just enjoyed a very energetic wash and scrub up in the warm sunshine.

I walked around the wood, and found a lot more Brimstones, they seemed to be everywhere, making the most of the sunshine.  I also saw one more male Orange-Tip, and a Peacock floating across the Bluebells.  I did manage to get a photo of one Brimstone as it nectared on a Bluebell.

On the North perimeter trail, the Ransoms were in full flower, and the scent of garlic was everywhere.  They look quite impressive now to as the flower heads extend above the leaf cover.

A short visit, but again there always seems to be something of interest to see.

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