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Saturday, April 21, 2012

April showers and more signs of spring

This week we have had true April seasonal weather of wind and heavy showers with hail and thunder and lightening thrown in for good measure! The spring migrants have continued to arrive in small numbers, including swallows appearing in ones and two, such as the one on the wires at the top of Stantway, chattering to itself on Monday morning. As yet I have not seen any House Martins in the village, but on a trip to the Levels on the 14th I saw plenty, together with swallows and sand martins and the first, early swift, hawking low over the flooded areas on Sahpwick and Ham Wall reserves. Numerous Blackcaps are now singing every morning when I walk across the fields between Stantway and Combe Wood Lane.Such a lovely fluty sound and the males look so smart with their trim black caps which give them their name,even though the females have brown caps! Goldfinches are appearing on garden feeders as well as still trying to feed on the last of the remaining ash keys in the trees in SSW. Blue tits are busy taking food into nesting boxes to feed their young and I just hope the cold weather doesn't kill off the babies. pairs of linnets are sitting atop the hedge lines , the males showing off their pink chests to the females before launching into the air with their bouncy flight. The bluebells in the SSW are now being joined by the first of the campions as they unfurl into their vivid pink blooms and in the verges, the stitch wort looks like there has been a sprinkling of snow. Buzzards are taking advantage of the thermals at every opportunity but the rooks are quick to mob them if they drift near their rookeries. I counted around 40 nests in the Combe Wood rookery and what a racket the young make as the adults return to feed them! let's hope the weather improves in the next few days for us and the wildlife.

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