Sunday, 26 April 2015

25th April - Blue Is The Colour, And For Once It's OK

We had been out for the day, and had got back mid afternoon, despite a rather poor forecast the day had not been too bad if a little cool.  With the sun out I wanted to take the chance to see the if the Bluebells in Old Down had come out.  I had forecast last week that by this weekend I expected it to be in full swing, so I needed to check.

As I walked down Brislands a pair of Long-tailed Tits were calling from the Oak trees by the recreation ground.

There was nothing in the horse field of major interest, but over in the corner against the hedge was a large Rabbit.  I am assuming this is an old buck, it was large has a squarish head, and if you look you can see that the ears are rather tatty, probably as a result from some scraps.

In the field by the end of the houses there were several clumps of Cowslips, the first I have seen this year around the patch.

Along the verge on Brislands as I walked towards Old Down were lots of White flowering Dead Nettles, a special flower for me, taking me back to my biology lessons.

There was a small White that passed me in the sunshine, but the clouds were building up now, and the sun was a little watery as I walked into Old Down.  There was also little bird song, a Chiffchaff in the distance being the only migrant.  I turned onto the perimeter path, and immediately into the Bluebells.

They were a lot further advanced than last weekend, but I would say the coverage is about 50% of the potential.  There is not yet the full blue haze you get when they are all out.

But in places as you got closer to the ground you could see it is going to be quite spectacular.

The Bumblebees were also taking an interest in them, this buff-tailed taking advantage of the bells.

As well as the Bluebells, the Ransom's too are beginning to flower, and once they come out it will complement the Bluebells, and add that lovely smell of wild garlic.

As I made my way through the flowers a pair of Marsh Tits called from above me, one giving some good views.

At the West End the view out to the west was a collection of colours, the yellow of the Rapeseed that is now in full bloom, the delicate lime green of the beech trees, and the emerging red leaves of the Copper Beech.

Turning back onto the main path I disturbed a group of three Roe Deer.  They ran off, but stopped a short way from me to turn around and watch me.  The deer are getting very confiding, and do not seem so nervous around people.  This allowed me to get some of the closest view of them I think I have had.

This buck had some distinctive antlers, still partially covered in velvet.  This started me thinking it would be a good idea to try and capture some portraits to see if I can track them, and identify where they go.  

One of the females was watching me too.

A little further on I came across another three deer.  Although a little bit further away I was able to see that this buck only had two prongs of antlers, distinctly different to the earlier buck, as you can see from these two portraits.

Male # 2
Male # 1
Rather than go for names I will for now identify by number, and hopefully will be able to add to the gallery.

The cloud was now quite thick, and I could even feel the odd spot of rain as I walked across the field towards Gradwell, as a result I was not surprised to not see any Swallows.  As I walked along Brislands I could hear a Song Thrush singing.  It probably was celebrating the fact that it had its second brood on the way.  I managed to find it high at the top of an Oak tree.  It will not be long before he will be hidden by the leaves.

As I got closer to home the rain started to become harder, which was fortunate as I had no cover for the camera.  

Another week I think before the real Blue show begins.

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