Sunday, 12 April 2015

Changes of season

During the Easter holiday, we have visited Taunton, Cambridge and a few places in Norfolk. Now, I have already mentioned my first chiff chaff of the year in my blog last week, but there have been substantially more changes that I've been noticing.

The first has been the crocus, one of my favourite flowers, passing its center stage position to the primrose, both wild and cultivated. They have gone from being slightly folorn, like this example in Taunton at the beginning of the two week break, to prolific blooms all over the place now. It goes to show what a significant change only two weeks have made to our plant life.

Unfortunately, these blooms came too late for one of our beehives at school. Although one is big and happy, the other hive seems to have starved, despite us providing it with food. Whilst checking the hives during the holiday, I also saw that our oystercatchers have returned, all three of them. Perhaps we will get see them breed successfully this year...

Other changes have been not only been due to the season, I feel, but perhaps to a change in food availability. Growing up in Cambridge, I can always remember the flocks of house sparrows and starlings we would have in the garden and nesting under the tiles of the house next door, along with a few blue and great tits. Now, my parents garden is host to a full range of birds, 15 species I counted on our Easter weekend visit, including a male black cap; a bird I rarely see and one neither of my parents had ever seen before. Is this due only to my suggestion of putting out sunflower hearts as a food source? Or is it due to the development of areas of previously 'un-utilised' land that has driven them into the city and gardens for food?

Our birdfeeders outside our flat in Norwich are bursting with life now too. The green finches have returned post winter; we have at least two healthy looking pairs, with squabbling males and nonchalant females, with the odd copulation on the fence. A few goldfinches have finally crept back in after the winter months, and our first ever chaffinches, who are clearly not used to using bird feeders, have arrived. I was distracted from my school work only a few days ago by a feisty long tailed tit who had decided to perch on the window frame and peck at our windows, sounding like he was asking to be let in.

I'm looking forward to the arrival of more birds as the migrants continue to arrive, but the botanical spectacle I'm now waiting for is the explosion of bluebells at Foxley Woods...

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