About time too!!
Many apologies for not having written a blog for such a long time. Despite these horrible times we seem to be coming out of them at long last and with fingers crossed, it has given us all time to reflect on life and priorities and hopefully for some more appreciation of our natural world and the benefits that brings to our well being and health.
It has been a mixed bag of weather and luckily for us all it has been relatively good throughout the worst of lockdown, a lot of species have benefited from the reduction of traffic both on roads and of course the air.
We have seen a good number of species although in some cases fewer populations. There seems to be less Swallows around Talroch this year and lower numbers of House Martins, Swifts not too bad and there are numbers of Sand Martins of which I am yet to find their nesting bank.
Rafa continues his walks and I have been delighted with the amount of warblers around particularly in the areas of felled forest which has been left to regenerate naturally and no replanting. The area next to our chapel which was felled about 5 years ago is fantastic with lots of Gorse, Broom, Bramble, the inevitable Silver birch, Sweet chestnut growing from the stumps of felled trees, Scots pine, Oaks some Beech and lots of Alder Buckthorn. I have heard mostly but also seen Garden Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcaps, Willow warblers, Goldcrests and Firecrests. Other passerines using the felled area include Great and Blue tits, Long-tailed tits, Wrens Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Mistle thrush and a delight to see and hear both Yellow Hammers and Cirl bunting.
Woodpeckers are all around but not had the chance to see as many at the moment keeping quieter through the breeding season. Buzzards nesting in the surrounding woodland, Red squirrels running around the tree tops our local badger set seems to be thriving and Pine martens keeping up in numbers.
Flowers have been spectacular this year and our local meadow full of Heath spotted Orchids more than I've see for a long time. Great flowering and good warm weather throughout much of March/April/May attracting lots of pollinators and butterflies and the weather brought out Dragonfly species I counted 5 species in my field one late afternoon in May.
I am slowly ( Very slowly ) mastering some of the technical aspects of these blogs just hope it works! Will add another and hopefully when social distancing etc is even more relaxed will continue with some tours, watch this space and dream about coming with me to Portugal in September, let me know if you want more details .