Over the last few days , I have noticed one of the local Jackdaws , who is doing a pretty good imitation of a Hooded Crow . The grey on the nape of the neck , has extended right down it's back , and it has extremely scaly legs and toes . Today , whilst getting ready to go out , I managed to get a shot of the bird .
Later in the day , I am hosting fellow blogger Steve/Kingsdowner , on my patch , so I thought I had better get out and make sure everything was standing to attention . Steve said he was interested to see Toothwort and also Bog Bean , neither to be found in his own area , an area he refers to as the 'drylands' .
I knew Toothwort wouldn't be a problem , but wanted to make sure Bog Bean was in flower , so headed to High Elms to check . Just in from the car park , the large area of Butterbur has finished flowering now , and the large , leathery leaves are developing , which just seem to get bigger and bigger . Close by , amongst the Cowslips and other greenery , Lungwort-Pulmonaria officinalis , with it's spotted leaves and blue and pink flowers was found . Around the dipping pond , I was pleased to find the Bog Bean just coming into flower , and the bonus of a well advanced flower spike for Steve to photograph , right on the bankside . The male Mallard seemed quite excited with my find as well . Actually , he was in the middle of his ablutions . The cloud cover meant that I didn't see a single butterfly there . Plenty of the usual birdsong , but I was stumped by one song , a Willow Warbler type descending scale , but in a bass tone . I searched for some time amongst the conifers that surround the pond , before finally getting the songster in the binoculars , a male Blackcap ! Very strange indeed , I just hope he's still singing when I go back with Steve .
On the way back home , I called in at the Common . The open areas were cool , with the wind whipping across , but in a sheltered corner of the heathland area , I did disturb a very smart looking Peacock butterfly , my only sighting today . Out in the middle of the heathland , two male Chiffchaffs were singing , about 25 metres apart . One on the dead Silver Birch , near where I know the pair have built their nest , the other on a dead Oak . I waited a while , and eventually the female landed in the tree , carrying nesting material , whilst the male sang overhead . Great , two nesting pairs , let's hope they both succeed . The coolness meant no sign of Brimstone caterpillars , but the evidence on the Buckthorn leaves says that some at least , have hatched out . Just before crossing the road back to the car park , a very common plant , Herb Robert-Geranium robertianum , caught my eye .
Footnote : Best laid plans -it transpired that Steve's early finish did not materialise , and by late afternoon , given the weather conditions , still completely overcast and windy , we unfortunately had to call the meet off .
21 hours ago