It’s all change – as usual

1 Apr
For me this is the most exciting time of the year with the countryside emerging from the winter, the tree turning to green and migrating birds arriving in large numbers and starting to nest. We also have a large number of birds leaving for Scandinavia such as Fieldfares and Redwings.
March has been cold so the bird migration may well be a bit delayed this year. Many of the birds taking up summer residence around the village will have spent the winter in the Mediterranean or West Africa and aim to time their return when insects start to hatch with the real trick ensuring there is plenty of food around when their chicks hatch in May and beyond. With the poor harvest of wild berries this winter please keep your bird feeders topped up.
Among the first to arrive will be the Chiffchaff‘s – one of a number of the little brown jobs which duck and dive along our hedgerows and field boundaries and are common along the cliff – just listen for their distinctive song which sounds just like their name!! (See picture).
Chiffchaff - March 2012

Chiffchaff – March 2012

A number of Blackcaps (which look similar except for a black or brown cap) were here over the winter but these well migrate north for the summer with new ones arriving from the south.  Every so often an unexpectedly large number of a bird or insect arrive either in the autumn or the spring such as the Waxwings we saw last winter and is known as an irruption. This year we may well get a large number of Black fronted Wallabies who arrive in the area every few years because of the Mangold harvest. It takes quite some time for them to migrate here as it’s not easy hopping all the way from Australia and they need to be good swimmers. You may find them building nests in your chimney!
Work on Grove Wood has been completed for a few years – the Hazel coppice will be allowed to grow for a few years before it will need to be cut again. One of the last tasks this year was to open up parts of the footpath by removing some large shrubs to encourage more butterfly’s and birds such as Marsh Tits. If you get a chance please let me know what butterfly’s you see in Grove Wood this summer.

2 Responses to “It’s all change – as usual”

  1. churford May 2, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    I know spring is very late this year – and with it our summer visitors, but here in Norton the swallows have still not arrived, those seen seem to have been passing through. Elsewhere locally they have arrived in small numbers. The swifts would be expected in the next week or two.

    • sherstonwildlife May 2, 2013 at 7:42 am #

      I saw some migrant House Martins – there seem to be a few around and on Tuesday I did see one collecting some mud so nest building seems to have started. Still no Swifts…

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