Nature Notes from Bourne Wood – April 2020

Although I regularly enjoy a walk in the wood- under the pretence of exercising my dog- I do not frequent it every day, other activities can get in the way! There can be gaps of a few days during which, at this time of year, loads can happen. For example, I was part of a group nature ramble in early March when, after the gales and rain of sequential storms, we were lucky to have bright sunshine, blue skies and not a breath of wind, ideal conditions for looking at the resident birds. I say resident as the summer visitors had not yet arrived so we enjoyed the singing tits, squeaking goldcrests and noisy nuthatches whilst overhead buzzards soared. We spotted a single flowering wood anemone poking through the leafy carpet covering the woodland floor. We did not hear or see a single chiff-chaff and yet, three days later, there were loads about, calling with their familiar ditty from high up in the trees. Down below there was a swathe of white flowers with purple tints announcing that the wood anemones were now out and ready to impress. It is a busy time of year with new arrivals and rapid growth. The level of birdsong goes up a notch every day- there is a mistle thrush who sings from the very top of a larch tree in the middle of the wood. His voice carries well from that vantage point whilst the song thrushes demonstrate their superior quality of sound from slightly lower branches. Before long they will be joined by the willow warblers and blackcaps providing a wonderful musical accompaniment to the spectacle of the bluebells. It really is a good time to be out. My dog is sure that there have been plenty of new whiffs and smells so she too is keen for another walk in our local woods.