Dave's diary 24th April

Dave’s diary 24th April

I’m lucky. If you count having fractured ribs as lucky. Lucky in that I can walk out from the house into acres of farmland and woodland. Most of it is the remains of a former country estate, with a ruinous walled garden and abandoned cricket pitch. Getting out there is helping me recover, even if simply raising the bins is painful. There is no antidote like nature.

 photo Brian Hughes

No sign of the roedeer this morning, but a solitary brown hare was making its way stealthily along a tractor track through the emergent winter wheat, keeping low to avoid detection. But with ears like that, no chance. A whitethroat sang from a bramble at the edge of the fields hopeful for a migrant female coming in overnight, and the kestrels were on patrol, the female committing to aerial combat with one of the local crows. Honours even they both went their ways. They missed the wood mouse racing along the bottom of the broken down ha-ha. Ha, ha.

 photo Ginny Sibley

The bluebells in the old wood are just approaching perfection now. The daffodils and celandines are drooping and starting to go to seed. I wanted to walk further into the sun stream of blue to check for great spot nests in the shattered Georgian beech trees , but will have to wait until the flowers die down. The peckers have gone quiet this last few days, and are playing difficult to see with the leaves coming out. The garrulous Jays give themselves away more easily. There are at least 2 pairs chasing each other off-territory.

A blue tit pair have nested at the back of the rotting score board in the ruinous cricket pavilion, and are recording their own in’s, out’s and not out’s. 9am. Time for me to declare.

In line with clear instructions from the Government, for us all to remain at home (apart from a limited number of allowed activities), the reserve remains closed to visitors until further notice. Find out how to connect with nature from home here bit.ly/RSPBHomeActivities