For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Something In The Air

I wandered lonely as a Cloud / That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills, / When all at once I saw a crowd / A host of dancing Daffodils... WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

A few days of mild weather, and some sun, and spring has come to England, in a dance of golden daffodils, a blaze of yellow gorse and forsythia, and snow-white drifts of blackthorn blossom. It's a little too early for the terns and the nightingales, the sand martins and the swallows, but the chiffchaffs, willow warblers and reed warblers are here, all singing furiously. Bumblebees, ladybirds and other insects are out and about, and brimstone and tortoiseshell butterflies too.

At Besthorpe Nature Reserve by the river Trent in Nottinghamshire, the cormorants are busy carrying impossibly long sticks in their beaks with which to repair their nests. And at Whisby Nature Park near Lincoln, the yellow-green flowers of the great sallow, or goat willow, or pussy willow have emerged from their furry grey catkins...


On a short visit to each place this week I counted 28 different species of bird at Besthorpe and 30 at Whisby. Here's one of the Whisby hides overlooking a pool where you can see emperor dragonflies later in the year, and kingfishers if you're lucky...


From one of the hides overlooking Grebe Lake I spotted shelduck, tufted duck, greylag geese, Canada geese, and great-crested grebes doing their synchronized head-dance - which is a courtship ritual. There was much urgency and excitement in the air - not least among hundreds upon hundreds of black-headed gulls, which clamoured round the sky and fought noisily for space on the overcrowded gravel islands in the middle of the lake. Here are two that found a refuge from the cacophonous melee...



3 comments:

Laura said...

Spring seems to arrive just-in-time! Lovely photos - enjoy the life emerging all around.

Tramp said...

I had a flying visit to the UK last weekend and was greeted by just cold, wet, windy weather, I should have stayed longer!
Oh well, at least the company was good...Tramp

The Solitary Walker said...

A little colder again today - however the flowers are blooming all over the place.