Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Walsworth Common

Last weekend there was a brief sunny spell which I decided to take advantage of and visit Walsworth Common. The weather was a bit breezy and not as warm as it had been, but the sunshine was warm.

The River Purwell runs along the north and east of the Common and there is often a Little Egret on the river first thing in the morning. It wasn't there this time but I was there a bit later than usual and quite a few people had been out and probably scared it off.

To the east of the Common, the River Purwell is quite shallow with lots of underwater plants growing in it. I need to try and find out what they might be. It looked like the sort of river that might have little fish in it later in the year. That's something I'll have to keep an eye on!

There were rabbits out along the railway embankment to the west of the Common and quite a few burrow entrances were visible along the edge of the Common. I also saw some Blackbirds, Magpies, Robins and Blue-tits. A lot of the trees had new leaves on them and looked bright and cheerful in the sunshine. By this time dark clouds were looming into view and I decided to head home. Wildlife takes shelter during bad weather and so do I!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Signs of Spring.

Today was a lovely day – sunny with a gentle breeze and the warmest day of the year so far (17 ยบC on my thermometer at home). To celebrate I went for a stroll round part of the Letchworth Garden City Greenway path from the Willian Arboretum west to the A505.

As I walked through the arboretum I saw Long-tailed tits, Robins, Blue-tits, Great-tits, Chaffinches, Magpies and Crows. They all seemed to be busy defending territories or looking for food, one blue-tit in particular spent a few minutes looking for insect grubs on a tree branch. There was also a Green woodpecker in the vicinity. I didn't see it but I heard their distinctive 'yaffling' call a couple of times.

As well as the birds getting out and about with breeding and feeding in mind, the trees are also coming into bud – a lot of them had new leaves sprouting and the beautiful, white flowers were out on the Blackthorn bushes. I spotted Celandines, Speedwell and Daisies and sticky buds on the horse chestnut trees as well as hazel catkins.

Insects too were making the most of the lovely weather. I saw a Brimstone butterfly and a whole host of Tortoiseshells. A couple were sunning themselves by the side of the path as it went round the edge of a field.

Towards the end of the walk I heard the Green woodpecker again and looking up was just in time to see it land on a tree briefly before dropping down into a field out of sight, scaring a Crow out of the tree as it did so.

It was lovely being able to get out and about in the sunshine and see so much wildlife with relatively little effort. Heading home for a cup of tea and a piece of cake I was already trying to decide where to go next week.