4th of May, our rain men say about 93/93mm for the month and warm. Just a few days with light frosts so pretty average April weather.
Life under my black plastic liner has moved up a notch. Now there are about 6 slowworms, a mixture of large and small, some shedding skin, others brightly bronze/pink. The toad is missing but he will be back! A newcomer has made his grass nest in one corner – the field vole. No enemy of the slowworm or the toad but she will not like my weekly visit and will probably move on.
Our moorhen that nested out in the open, lasted about two weeks before the crows managed to distract her and then it was all over. She will have another go but the odds are against her until the vegetation provides more cover.
It’s early days but we already have fledgling robins, blackbirds and great tits. We have spotted woodpecker, chaffinch, wrens, crows and kestrel nests noted, together with ground nesting of pheasants and mallard. I always keep one or two of the Shoot’s pheasant feeders going through June – every little helps! So if you have feeders, keep them topped up too.
Sightings this month include swallows (hurray!) – Mark Ferguson 10th April; snipe on the cress beds at Hunton – myself; butterflies including orange tip (pictured) and meadow blue; and the first report of a mayfly by Henrietta Wood – fishermen on your marks!
Image of Orange Tip Butterfly from www.rspb.org.uk