Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A beautiful day here again, up to 22C at one stage. I walked by the local canal stopping to take in the signs of spring. Lots of hedgerow flowers including the may blossom (hawthorn) which not only looks lovely but has a great scent.

Many birds flitting in and out of the hedges too adding to the peaceful countryside with their chirping. Noticed a few butterflies, especially the orange tip.

The only thing to spoil the walk was the rubbish that has been thrown in the water. Some people do not appreciate the beautiful countryside we have here.

Several pairs of mallards along the canal all with young. I saw two pairs with clutches of 10 and further along I spotted three tiny ducklings all alone. No adult in sight. Hope they are big enough to look after themselves. Luckily the weather is warm so they may be all right. I know they are capable of feeding themselves almost as soon as they hatch but I think they need mum to keep them warm at night and protect them from predators.

I couldn't get any closer to take a picture of them because as soon as they spotted me they dashed for the water.

This is a moor hen sitting on her nest in the reeds. I am sure she must have heard me but maybe she thought she was hidden well enough for me not to have seen her.

May blossom is in full bloom in the hedges.

An old country rhyme to predict the weather for the summer is:

Oak before ash
We're in for a splash.
Ash before oak
We're in for a soak.

I noticed today that the oak is mostly more advanced than the ash so maybe we are in for a dry summer.

In the garden today I did see a blue tit go in and out of one of the nest boxes so I can stop worrying that they have been abandoned. Saw a brimstone butterfly and also small white and speckled wood.

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