“O to be in England now that April’s here”


Well that is the title of a poem by Robert Browning.

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This was a caterpillar on a blackthorn blossom

However this weekend we decided to hunt for migrants. We started off our quest at Eyebrook reservoir in Leicestershire. It was rather cold and murky. This weather will be but a distant memory for you as you bask in sunny Italy. However we did see yellow wagtails and the little owl was back in his tree. We swiftly moved on to Rutland where we saw the ospreys both on the nest and flying over lagoon four. In fact Lagoon four was a magnet for migrants as we picked up curlew sandpiper just starting to come into summer plummage, a couple of raven flew over the lagoon and late in the afternoon 5 whimbrel flew in causing us to make a mad dash for the hide to see them in case they migrated further north. They were on a scrape and stayed out giving excellent views of the stripes on their heads and their diagnostic features. At lagoon three we had a couple of Arctic terns fishing and two hobbies flew over the trees at the back. We watched them for over half an hour. We could see the red on them and saw them catch several insects which they proceeded to pass from their talons to their mouth in mid air.

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The ladies smock was out as you can see

As the sun was out despite being chilly we saw several species of butterflies including orange tip, speckled wood, peacock, comma and a species of white which took off before we could get close enough to identify it.

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Several bees were also about including Bombus leucorum , white tailed bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius red tailed bumble bee, Andrena fulva tawny mining bee and Andrena cineraria ashy headed mining bee. All in all we saw seventy eight different species of bird, eight of which we hadn’t seen this year.

There were still a great many primroses in flower and cowslips were blooming in the flower meadows.

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We also found some forget me nots wood ones

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Well In know it is a short post but I leave you with a picture of the Fritillaria meleagris, snakeshead fritillaries,  blooming in the wild flower meadow. Unfortunately to protect them from the rabbits they are completely encase in wire fencing. This makes them appear to be imprisoned.

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