Monday, 22 April 2013

Swallows and Buttterflies

On Thursday evening around 8 pm, at least 50 Swallows flew over the house, we  hoped ours were back and would be in the barn by morning, but they all seem to have gone down to the farmyard to feed after their long journey. At least they are back. On Saturday I saw this battered looking Peacock butterfly in the garden, it must have just come out of hibernation, it seems incredible it has survived. In the hedgerows the Hawthorn leaves are starting to show a lovely refreshing green.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The swallows are back in Dunsop, the ponds are full of frogspawn and I saw my first butterfly, a Small Tortoiseshell on 7th April and my first Bumble Bee yesterday and the weather was sunny and warm. We have still got the Reed Bunting in the garden so food must still be scarce. Barrie had a lovely encounter with a Hare it  ran straight up the slope towards him and didn't notice him till it was about four feet away ,stopped and sniffed and then ran off.

Lots of frogspawn in local ponds.

This Robin is always going into the shed where it knows we store seed.We think it even sleeps in here.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The improvement in the weather has not mirrored an improvement in the birds tempers. The cock pheasants are crowing and wing beating in the garden. They comically chase each other around the garden, hiding behind bushes, unwilling to leave the bird food. A white cock pheasant is confusing them all, they don't know whether to display at it or chase it off and it makes the most of things by not really acting like a male, just eating. It doesn't really act like a hen bird either as hens are too nervous to come into the garden  hiding instead in the field edges. The squirrels tempers are fraying too, they're chasing across the lawn and having lightning fast wrestling matches.
In the fields we still have flocks of Redwings, Fieldfares and Starlings. On Sunday all the trees around the house were full of Starlings chattering. The last few days of slightly milder and sunny weather has greened the grass up and the lambs are growing really fast. The buzzards regularly fly over making their mewing calls, I don't know if  buzzards eat squirrels, but I think the squirrels do as they tend to hide if they hear the buzzards. On the upland fields there are plenty of Lapwings and the Curlews are calling and displaying, windsurfing down to the ground. On Sunday I saw my first butterfly, a Small Tortoiseshell and watched a female Pied Wagtail being fed by a male,who was trying to prove what a great Dad he would make.

Reed Bunting that dropped by for some bird seed.

These too like to sleep on the lane.

Primroses by the stream.