Spring really is here now - the first Bluebells appeared in the woods this week!
One particular spot in Sweep Wood has a great mix of colours right now!
There's some Violets out there too:
And the Wood Anemones are at their peak, looking stunning:
The days of these flowers are numbered though, as the trees are starting to wake up too. Sweet Chestnut leaves are starting to appear:
Birch are quite well advanced:
And the whole wood is beginning to take on a real green tinge! Here's the area we coppiced in winter 2013/14:
And the ride between Sweep Wood and Grist Wood:
This week has presented the last few chances to get photos of birds before the leaves hide them from view. This one's a Chiffchaff, which I've not seen that often before:
There's also lots of Pheasants around, with the males competing for the territory near our bird feeder, as the small birds knock seed off it and the Pheasants hoover it up. This one's trying to sneak up on the food without the other bird seeing it:
The butterflies are out in force now. Here's a Green-veined White:
A Peacock which has overwintered as an adult, and is looking a bit battered:
And another one, which appeared smaller and in better shape:
And finally an Orange Underwing moth - sorry for the poor photo, it wouldn't let me get very close...
While photographing the butterflies I thought I'd have a go at taking photos of hoverflies as well, which is tricky as they are too small for autofocus, and don't actually stay still for very long. Still, I managed to get these two:
Moving on to other things, I realised the wild boar had been trampling across the dam we have by the spring, causing a muddy stretch on the path. So I made a few repairs, to the left of the vertical stick:
and three days later there was a lot more water in the 'pond':
I've also been digging to try and drain a bit of the ride between Sweep Wood and Grist Wood - see the channel in the top-right of this photo:
That's all for now. Looks like rain is on the way at the end of this week, which I'm sure will help the plants in the wood, if not the butterflies. Next time I should have lots of Bluebells to show you!