Friday, March 30, 2012

Carpet of Colour to Bad Hare Day

Tuesday 27th March I was helping lead a guided walk on Brockholes LWT reserve. We were given our usual welcome by the skylarks who never seemed to stop singing all day. Canada geese and mute swans glided past on Meadow Lake as chaffinches and reed buntings had their lunch at the feeder hopper.There were several more coltsfoot in flower and as we reached the river bank we were delighted to see the recently arrived sand martins. We walked to Boilton Wood and enjoyed the increased number of bluebells showing. At one spot the variety of flowers was awesome. Bluebells, lesser celandine, saxifrage, wood anemone and dog mercury all together in a small area. I also saw wood sorrel for the first time, bringing my challenge to 270
We carried on our walk and as we did four common buzzards, mewing above us, showed their aerial skills. On the large lake and the island lapwings, cormorants, tufted ducks, oystercatchers, teal, mallards and a great crested grebe seemed to be enjoying the warm sun This made the temperature more like June than late March. In the children's play area some strange shapes were taking form. It was an art display that reminded me of an episode of "The Prisoner".   I am sure we will soon discover what it is supposed to mean

Wednesday 28 March was a day to do my Brown Hare survey. If you want to learn more check out this link  I was fortunate to have the canal pass through the centre of my survey square which meant it was easy walking and good views both left and right. The ubiquitous mallards and Canada Geese greeted me as I commenced. A flock of grazing Canada Geese were just across the canal and a pair of grey wagtails were startled by an approaching narrow boat.

Several clusters of violets added their colour to the yellows of celandine and dandelion. A small tortoiseshell butterfly and two bumble bees were taking advantage of the supply of nectar. In the hawthorn bushes some long-tailed tits and a coal tit were scolding me for getting too close. As I was leaving I spotted a buff-tailed Bumble Bee (bombus terrestris) It was an enjoyable walk except for the absence of brown hares. I guess we need to know where they are not present as well as where they are. 

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