The wind was not so harsh today, and it felt a little warmer in the sunshine as I walked out towards Brislands, unlike yesterday when it was cold to start necessitating a hat and gloves at Pulborough where Ian and I enjoyed a good day over the border, details here There was a lot more bird song about, but then the last few walks it has been late afternoon.
As I approached the recreation ground a Chiffchaff flew into the large oak tree.
It seems strange that it has only been this year when I have noticed the Chiffchaff display behaviour. The singing bird presumably a male once it stops and hears a call then goes into a wing fluttering display hoping to attract the other bird.
It then just sits and waits looking around to see if its display has worked.
A little further on a Blackcap was singing, but as always the Blackcap is adept at hiding behind the branches.
And then when it comes out into the open, it does so in the dark and shadows
It was all action here, behind me there was some more song, and I turned to see this, any ideas?
I walked along in the sunshine, and then was mugged by a very close Wren. At first I couldn't see it, but I then managed to find it on, unusually, a wire.
A little further on I heard what I have been hoping to hear, a Firecrest singing, but unfortunately it was distant within the garden, and I couldn't find it. So it would seem that they are possible nesting in a different location in the garden away from the road.
On the way to Old Down there was no sign of any Whitethroats yet, the only bird singing was a Yellowhammer. I turned into Old Down, and walked down the main path. A Red--tailed Bumble Bee was searching for nest sites in the leaf litter.
I turned on to the perimeter path, in the course of four days the Bluebells have really come on, the green now being replaced by blue.
Here is the path I photographed on Tuesday.
I have been concerned about the Early Purple Orchids, had they been damaged by the winter forestry work. But as I searched the area I was pleased to find the leaves, it won't be long until the flowers emerge usually at the end of April.
It seemed as if Wrens were everywhere. They definitely like the fallen and broken branches. As I walked up the main path I disturbed a buck Roe Deer that ran off showing the bright white bum!
The field next to the perimeter path has also grown, the grass much longer than the start of the week, and now lots of bright yellow Dandelions.
Another feature of this spring has been the number of Violets in flower, I would suspect this is due to the clearance and light that is now available in the wood.
As I walked to the Old Down entrance a Peacock, and Orange Tip flew past me, the only butterflies of the day. I walked around to the pond, where I wanted to see if there were any interesting insects out on the sunny bank. As I made my way I noticed a clump of Field Mouse-Ear that was out.
At the pond I was immediately rewarded with several Bee Flies, they were attracted to the Periwinkle flowers.
As I watched the Bee Flies a Chiffcchaff flew into the tree immediately beside me, and posed very nicely.
It was then joined by a pair of Long-tailed Tits, who seemed to not like the Chiffchaff being there, eventually they chased it off.
I walked around to the location of the Moorhen nest and from a distance looked to see if I could see the Moorhen on the nest. She was well hidden, and if you didn't know the nest was there you would not see her. I could though make her out, the red knob giving her away.
I walked to Kitwood and then crossed to go back into Old Down. Its always funny to see how the footpath develops across the field, it always seems to be wavy, and never a straight line.
I stayed on the open paths in the hope of maybe a butterfly, and as I reached the Gradwell entrance I heard a scratchy Sylvia song, it was I hoped a Garden Warbler and I made my way into the trees to see if I could find it. As I did, I disturbed three Roe Deer. The bird kept singing, and I managed to see it and get a very poor record.
As I made my way out I passed a low branch of Larch, and noticed the cones developing. I am not sure I have seen them at this stage, they look really delicate against the lime green leaves.
As well as the Wrens the other song and call in the wood that seems to go on all the time is the Nuthatch, and one appeared above me as I walked out.
As I walked across the field I was so pleased to see that the Lonely boy was no longer alone, there were now two swallows there flying around the stables. Rather than walk back around Gradwell and Brislands I walked to the footpath to cross to Lymington Bottom. It has been an excellent year for Blackthorn, the white flowers standing out against the blue skies.
The cloud was now building up, and it seemed like I had been out during the best part of the day, I headed home after a morning of song.