May 7, 2017

Trees and Swifts

Summer visitors have arrived be it a bit later on the Wirral.  As we are so centrally placed in the country, birds either arrive north or south first depending on where they are coming from and appear a week or too later here.

Willow Warbler

Daffodil yellow is no longer the predominant colour around now, it has been replaced by the  blues and whites of Comfrey, Wild Garlic, burgeoning Cow Parsley, complimented with the blue and white with the occasional pink bluebells.

Oak florets
Trees are starting to fill out in an amazing variety of hues and tones, almost as varied as autumnal ones. The duck egg green of the roadside Whitebeam and the cream spires of the Horse Chestnut, which despite persistent blight still comes back each year.  mixes with the white May Blossom of the Hawthorne.
Whilst tree gazing it occurred to me that I never see Oak blossom, and acorns must come from somewhere.  After a recent hefty gale  the mystery was uncovered, the flowers hide and hang under the new budding  leaves .

May Blossom

The first week of May hopefully heralds the arrival of our summer birds the Swifts. Many watch in anxious anticipation for their arrival to confirm that the planet is still working. They stay only a very short time to produce their young be it one or two broods in quick succession and then as quick as they arrive , they are gone. Off all the summer visitors it is probably the short presence each summer that  makes them so precious to our psyche. 

The Blue tits have been very low key for a week or two so must have been sitting on eggs .  Anyway this  past week activity in the box is much busier with frequent trips  carrying tiny insects.

The thrill of the hunt is very stimulating when trying to identify the song off a bird that you do not hear that often never mind never see. This came together this week when I saw and heard at the same time and I was able to put a name to several  previously unidentified recordings including Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Nuthatch.  It is just a shame photographing them is so much more problematic.

The 2 projects are slowly gathering momentum.  The woodland study  is progressing at a faster pace as the season gathers speed and woods evolve. 

Both visual and audio recording are slowly accumulating with a peek episode of audio recording around  International Dawn Chorus Day 6th/7th May. See link for results : SOUNDCAMP

'Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May ', Shakespeare Sonnets.

* Swifts have arrived  in their hundreds dead on time on 6th May, all is still working with the planet..