Up to the weekend the forecast for Sunday was that it was going to be the better day of the weekend, so the jobs were done Saturday, allowing for a nice walk in the sun on Sunday. Well there was sun, but very early, and very quickly the clouds rolled in, and the breeze picked up, and it was quite cool as we set off along Brislands.
The trees had developed much more in just a week, and looking down the lane again you could see the difference.
It was quiet as walked along the lane towards Old Down. At the entrance a pair of Blackcaps was in the trees by the mobile pylon, the male singing from time to time, the female chipping in with a few “tacks”. Robins sang as we walked into the wood, and there was also the song of a distant Chiffchaff.
It wasn’t only the leaves that had moved on this week, the bluebells had too, and with the overcast skies they were looking very blue on the north perimeter path.
We turned to continue along the main path and as we came up the hill we were greeted with this sight.
We were not alone in appreciating the bluebells; there were others in the wood too. While I welcome the interest I wish people would stay on the established paths, and not walk through the Bluebells damaging the plants, it is the same as picking them, which is something people would now not do. The views from the path are wonderful, and there is no need to tramp into wood to get closer.
A grey bird in the scrub caught my attention, it never called but I could see it was a Tit. I wondered if it could be Willow Tit, but looking at this picture I thought Marsh Tit.
Then it turned and I confirmed it was indeed a Marsh Tit.
A little further Helen saw a pair by the edge of the wood.
The challenge recently has been to try and get a picture of the Lords and Ladies flowers. It seems that as soon as they appear they are eaten. We found this one just off the main path, for once in immaculate condition.
We left the wood, and walked down to the pond. We didn’t walk around, but stopped to look at some white flowers growing amongst the Iris.
It is Bog Bean, and is apparently commonly found in acid bog pools, which was a surprise, as I wouldn’t have thought this pond was acidic, but maybe it is in the shallow muddy areas. The flowers are white and spikey, but come from pink buds.
Apart from a few surface feeding Carp, there was very little else about, so we continued down the lane towards Kitwood. A Whitethroat sang from the hedge alongside the road. At the farm, the cattle were in the field, and I found a Swallow sitting on the wire here, I thought this might mean they are settling to nest here, but as we walked on there was three flying around the filed, still its early days yet.
By the entrance to a horse paddock on Willis Lane we had found our first Cowslips last year. This year there was quite a few clumps here, and they were quite substantial too.
We turned off Willis Lane and took the path towards the garden centre. The fields were full of Rooks feeding and every so often a swallow would zip past as it was attracted to the insects that were flying around under the trees.
In the field next to the garden centre I picked up a large bird drifting across from the east. It was a Red Kite, the first one I had seen since March. As it glided past us we could see the damaged tail and secondary feathers, probably an indication of possible breeding damage?
Just after got home the rain came, the forecast is for it to be cool again through the week, we need some prolonged warm weather to bring out the butterflies, I still haven’t found a Holly Blue, and their flying season is running out.
Finally I have been making good progress on the India trip blog, check it out here.