Abundance of yellow

All the early flowers are yellow, here are primrose, gorse and the humble dandelion! I have already reported daffodil and celandine. All in the Orchard. Why is yellow so dominant at this time of year?

And a PS – I hope I am not the only one who sees at least one song thrush every time I pass through the Orchard! But that woodpecker is so noisy!!!!

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Bird activity

As well as the usual garden birds around the shed and Orchard this morning there were

* a jay in the trees above the shed

* two song thrushes in the Paddock

* three teal (2 m and 1 f) joining a couple of mallards in Alder Pond

* a woodpecker very noisily at work in Pony Wood

Birds in the Orchard

Possibly three woodpeckers competing around the Orchard area this morning. It was amusing seeing people walking by with their heads in the air trying to spot them.

A song thrush in the Orchard and then a little flock of long tailed tits this afternoon.

First signs of spring?

Whilst working in the fields this morning we came across the first frogspawn of the year in the cattle crossing of Lucy Brook and the farmer was delivering sheep with their very new lambs to the fields adjacent to West Field.

The woodpecker was hard at work in trees near the Orchard, a heron flew up from the Flora Field and we saw two song thrushes in the Flora Field hedge, plus the flock of linnets along the Long Pads footpath.

Early evening stroll

Whilst it was still bright and sunny, we wandered round the boundaries of the nature reserve early yesterday evening. The woodpecker in Pony Wood was going at it hammer and tongs, the sound carrying far across the fields. After hearing from Jon Carter about the decline in recent years of greenfinch numbers because of a virus, Paul was delighted to see a couple as we paused on the Long Pads path. They were perched briefly on a wire fence at the boundary between Flora Field (new name for the arable) and Lower Sowerholme (formerly known as Gleesons field). But we couldn’t spot the grey partridge in West Field, and were starting to think that the lapwings had moved on. Just as we were about to get to the end of the reserve by the Aldcliffe Road houses, we heard a brief call: two displaying together over the ridge of Flora Field. One promptly landed at the top of the field, silhouetted against the skyline, distinctive crest showing clearly. Magical.


A walk around Fauna and Flora today revealed the following flowers which I don’t believe have been reported this year

  • Ransomes in the Orchard and by the big ash tree on the Fauna path
  • Dusky crane’s bill in the Orchard
  • Forget-me-not in the Orchard
  • Green alkanet in the Orchard
  • Common comfrey in the Pads / Big Meadow hedgeline
  • Common vetch along the Long Pads
  • Common plantain in the Hay Meadow
  • Nice display of bluebells in Little Wood

As well as this, lapwings seen and heard around the ploughed field for the third consecutive day and a particularly noisy woodpecker at work in Pony Wood