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What happened in April?

Monday, 27th April 2015

As April draws to a close, we’re presented with a brief opportunity to take a breath and reflect on what an exciting month it is in the wildlife calendar...
Resident Blackbirds and Robins have most likely had their first brood, and summer visitors such as Swallows and House Martins are now streamlined silhouettes in our bright blue spring sky. Once again familiarising themselves with their nesting spots; repairing the damage that’s been sustained during the winter months. It won’t take them long to repair any damage - I’ve seen a number of birds work together to extend a single nesting “bowl” into a double (resembling an upturned bra!). Once repairs to the nest are underway, summer visitors, too, will turn their attention to breeding.
 
Young Robin

Birdsong returned in April. It’s of course been with us throughout autumn and winter; however, it seemed a little crisper, perhaps brighter and definitely more purposeful this month. The variety of song was definitely greater and that will continue to build into May, when birdsong is more intense. If you need a date in your diary to remind you how beautiful bird song is – here it is: International Dawn Chorus Day is 3rd May, 2015. See http://www.idcd.info/ to find an event near you. However, I know that from the number of comments I receive from the community that birdsong is appreciated every single day of the year. A single Blackbird can manage a rhapsody if it’s in the right mood to do so, can’t it?

Badger cubs have had their first glance of spring in April having left the relative safety of the underground sett. I wish them well. 

Hedgehogs have ventured into our gardens – fewer and fewer of them are sadly seen each year and they deserve a little extra TLC if you’re lucky enough to see one. Hedgehogs love Hedgehog food and it’s worth noting that milk should never be put down for them. A bowl of fresh water is sufficient plus – if you’re feeling flush – a mealworm or two! (Dried mealworms are fine.)

I couldn’t wrap up April without mentioning flowers: some gardens have been planted to make the most of deciduous trees; exposing reds and browns of natural structural architecture protruding from the ground like nature’s very own exclamation marks; however, many are not. Mine included! So the new greens, yellows, blues and pinks are, shall we say, welcome. My favourite three: cowslips, primroses & blue bells. If I had time to stare, I could easily stare at these all day.

Here’s to a wild May.

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