Pauline’s report on 16 February of the area’s first flowering colt’s-foot of the year encouraged a visit to a good spot for this plant on my regular walks around the Nostell Priory estate. I saw the first flowers here much later at the start of this month. However, recent wildflower sightings over the last few days have included primrose, dog’s mercury and male yew trees that have been dusting passersby with clouds of pollen. Interestingly, the female and male flowers on dog’s mercury and yew trees grow on separate plants. Another welcome flower of spring noticed on my walks at Nostell is the lesser celandine growing in woodland and damp places. It belongs to the buttercup family whereas the greater celandine is a member of the poppy family. It just shows common English names can be confusing. An image of the lesser celandine is attached. Bird sightings have included the usual woodland suspects together with frequent calls of a green woodpecker. The lower lake gives opportunities to still get good views of the goosanders and grey herons, images of which are attached.
A good few days for butterflies visiting my Wrenthorpe garden with a brimstone and peacock on 9th April, both in good condition. A nice surprise on the 11th April was a speckled wood, basking in some early morning sunshine.
At Ackworth School, the long-tailed tits that were building a nest have now completed the task. This morning, nuthatches were carrying mud to a beech tree, where they are modifying an old woodpecker nest-hole. Nearby, treecreepers chased each other at high speed round and round the trunk of a tree, only centimetres from the trunk. Whilst there were winter visitors – redwings – in some trees, a summer visitor – a chiffchaff – was singing nearby. Kingfishers were busy on the River Went and a hare was feeding in an uncultivated field.