Late April and early May are always such an exciting time in nature. Spring is awakening, the birds are building nests and brooding their young. Life is returning after the dark moribund days of winter.
Every day there’s a new surprise, certainly in the bird world, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, but what I enjoy now is that the returning birds will be holding territory and staying to breed on the Beefayre turf. Makes it so rewarding to know all this hard work has paid off and provided habitat for all these marvellous travellers from overseas.
So now I know that here we have blackcap, willow warbler, chiffchaff, whitethroat, reed bunting, goldfinches, green finches, chaffinches (such a quintessential sound of early summer) and of course, our song and mistle thrushes. Yesterday I witnessed our pair of coal tits building a next in the yew tree just outside one of our windows!
It’s my birthday today and my treat will be to drive to Paxton gravel pits and listen to nightingale, my absolute favourite songster. Very specific in their habitat requirements here but their numbers have suffered great losses in recent years due to problems in their wintering grounds in Africa.
Talking of African visitors, I saw our first swallow on the 20th April, swoop low over the little lake, sadly they haven’t bred here for several years now. We had a pair of tufted duck for several days visit (23rd), I suspect they too might be nesting, a lovely surprise and such a charming little duck.
I’ve noticed loads of activity when the sun is shining on our solitary bee nesting boxes. I’m going to look much more closely at these residents, there are 225 different species and they take some identifying, Sam’s helpful with this challenge!
Sylvia’s brood of cygnets will appear any day now and Chick, our house hen, hatched her first baby yesterday, after a month incubating on my bedroom curtains!
A young badger has recently started to visit nightly during the last week, so I’ve been feeding him (or her!) dog food! We stood and stared at each other Friday night, they were undoubtedly very curious as to what I was! Maybe I’ll film them for my next report!
Please send in any interesting records you have, I’d love to hear your stories.