Comings and goings – Cliffhanger article – April

9 Apr

April is a time of change for our local wildlife. Many of the birds that overwintered here have now left – the redwings, fieldfares and many of the finches have all departed for more northerly climes – while the summer migration from southern Europe has already started, with Stock Doves already nesting and Chiffchaff males beginning to arrive a week or so ago.
The Chiffchaff , a member of the warbler family, is a delightful small brown bird, and there are a number of males singing in the bushes and trees along the Cliff . They have a two-tone song a bit like their name and, with a little patience, you can see them (see photo). There are more details on my blog at

During the month, we should start to see the arrival of many of our other summer birds, such as cuckoos, house martins, whitethroats, willow warblers and swifts. If we are really lucky we may even get nightingales. I will be spending some time trying to find some locally; we are right on the edge of their range, although they do occur in the Cotswold Water Park so watch this space.
Grove Wood will be bursting out in bluebells very soon. Th e first few are in flower and this outstanding warm spring will bring them forward. Peacock and Brimstone butterflies are out and about, as are many species of insects, especially bumblebees.
Martin Barber (from Hullavington) visited Grove Wood last week and identifi ed many of the plants growing there. Hopefully, he will come back from time to time to help us understand the effect the coppicing has had on the plant life.
The Jackdaws are out in strength, filling all sorts of crevices with their nests at the moment. They seem to congregate around the church and fly up and down the High Street like squadrons of Spitfires.
Until next month, if you see or hear of any interesting wildlife stories, please add them to my blog (http:// or email me at geoff _
By Geoff Carss


One Response to “Comings and goings – Cliffhanger article – April”

  1. Nick April 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Reports from Sandpits Lane: Pair of peregrine falcons flying south over Sherston! The weirdest sound I have heard from a bird! Also confirmed great crested newts in our pond. (we had an ecologist staying with us for a couple of days, so IDs can be relied upon)

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