There have been more new arrivals to Fishlake Meadows over the last week, just yesterday I saw my first 2 swallows of the year and heard my first cuckoo. Unusually for cuckoo’s at Fishlake I only heard it once, maybe they will get more warmed up in the next couple of weeks. Following the cuckoo theme, the flower of the same name are now in bloom. Also known as lady’s smock , this is the food plant of the orange-tip butterfly caterpillar, who’s adults are sensibly now on the wing to coincide with their offspring’s food plant.
For those that are walking distance of Fishlake Meadows and have still been visiting, you may have noticed some additional signage stating the key social distancing guidance. Hopefully people will see these and take care to adhere to them. I’m not sure if it’s me being optimistic, but it does seem like more people are taking care to give as much space to others as possible. To help with this, I have trimmed the vegetation back along the canal path, I will be doing my best to keep some “passing bays” open.
After I had completed my site checks and was heading back along the canal path, I heard a bit of scrabbling coming from the canal bank, followed by a splosh and then saw a mammal swimming across the canal. It was a bank vole swimming away, I peered down the side of the bank to see if there was anything else there. Indeed there was, I saw a long thin mammal dash in to the vegetation and then a little face popped out looking right at me, before vanishing back in to the vegetation…a weasel. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photographic evidence of the weasel, all very exciting nonetheless.
I enjoyed the long Easter weekend at home, it has been a pretty stressful time, so the long weekend was very welcome. On one of my local walks from my house, I got a great view of a female holly blue. I am lucky that there is a lot of green space near to me, none of it particularly large, and by no means a nature reserve, but a mix of some wild hedgerows next to paths, mature trees and amenity grassland areas. Thankfully the amenity grasslands haven’t been mown in a few weeks, so daisies, speedwells, forget-me-not’s and dandelions are thriving.
I’m not sure if it’s a bumper year or if I’m paying more attention, but the blossom seem to be exceptional this year. Here are some from near me.
On Tuesday 14th April I was back to work, so went to Fishlake Meadows for site checks, it was a beautiful fresh morning and wonderful to be out. Fortunately I didn’t come across any signs of untoward behaviour. I did see some wonderful wildlife though; a flock of at least 20 swans flying over (potentially landing on the southern lake), oak trees flowering and some lovely views of sedge warblers. Unfortunately my photography skills leave something to be desired as I hadn’t managed to get the bird properly in focus.
I’m looking forward to seeing what else is around in the next few weeks both at Fishlake Meadows and at home. Remember to keep safe and avoid places with narrow footpaths (such as Fishlake Meadows) where at all possible, and do not drive to nature reserves, exercise locally.