However having been away he seems to have become a little more cautious once again, which is probably a good thing as it seems we are not the only ones to have noticed the increase in birds prepared to throw caution to the wind in the garden. On Tuesday of this week there were plenty of alarm calls about, and Helen spotted a Peregrine cruising over the house, it did though head north and showed no desire to visit the garden. A good record though, the first of the year. On Wednesday though a different situation. Helen witnessed a male Sparrowhawk fly into the garden. The Blackbird fled to the centre of a dense tree we have but was pursued by the Sparrowhawk, which ended with Helen chasing the hawk off.
After the Sparrowhawk incident the Blackbird has become even more cautious, but will fly into the garden when the back door opens. The other record of interest was last night we had four Robins in the same tree together.
The weather has been very cold all week, very unseasonable, with cloudy conditions and a brisk north easterly wind. Yesterday evening though the sun came out and it felt a little warmer so we went out for a walk through the woods to take in the Bluebell display.
Walking along Brislands I was surprised to see a Small White on the wing, the time of day, and the temperature not really being conducive to butterflies.
Once in the woods we headed to the east, along the perimeter path through an area that I do not regularly explore. Both Blackcap and Chiffchaffs sang from within the scrub. It was the Bluebells that we had come to see, and they didn't disappoint.
Now approaching their best, the blue haze stretches deep into the trees.
Lovely contrasts with a background of the crops in the fields beyond.
The Spruce trees are just showing a burst of new needles that are a lovely lime green and create a green mist to match the blue haze the Bluebells produce.
The newly emerged Hazel leaves stand out against the blue of the Bluebells
There were sunny periods, but the best conditions for the Bluebells is when the sun goes in, the blue then becomes much more intense. Here though the sun picked out a small clump and contrasted it with the shadowed blue behind.
The ideal photograph would have been with a Roe Deer, or maybe if lucky a Fox cub. We had to make do with a newly emerged bracken leaves. It still works.
We made our way back past the pond where the drake Mallard was still present and a lone Moorhen were feeding at the far end. Walking down past the school I saw what I first thought was a Swallow but realised almost immediately it was a Swift. In fact three passed overhead. Swift are not a regular sighting in Four Marks, and this was the earliest record I have had once again, it is turning out to be bit of a record year so far. Also to get three so early in May was yet another good record.
We headed down Lymington Bottom and I spotted a Kestrel sitting in a conifer scanning the garden below.
Ever alert to any movement below, its head moved with any sound.
Only a short walk, but it is always brightened by the Bluebell spectacle, and of course the first Swifts of the year which were unexpected. Hopefully the weather will pick up and the temperatures return to somewhere normal in the next week.