Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Flowers beside the Trail

Coltsfoot flowers below the footpath between the traffic lights and the roundabout. Wood Forget-me-nots are forming thick blue carpets of bloom by the path up to Ravenscourt Close. The Marsh Marigolds are past their best near the Park Pond but the carpets of Lesser Celandines near the brook are still beautiful. Add a comment to this blog or e-mail the website at sandbachenv@gmail.com if you spot anything interesting - George

Woodpeckers

Great Spotted Woodpeckers can be heard drumming along the Trail this month. A bird is often present near Dingle Lake, sometimes audible across the lake. I have even heard one across the bypass from Offley Wood, over the noise of the traffic. But be careful: this time last year the rare Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was also to be heard, for one was definitely identified drumming in trees near Offley House - George

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Mosses

This is a good time of year to look at the colourful mosses which coat walls and surfaces around Front Street and the retaining wall of St Mary's Churchyard. Even the humblest things in Creation deserve our attention and protection. On one occasion, a Treecreeper was watched climbing through the moss on the churchyard wall as if it was a tree trunk! - George

Monday, 14 April 2008

Spring flowers

This is a good time of year to lean over Brook Bridge and admire the golden yellow Lesser Celandines along the banks of the stream above the bridge! - George

Summer birds

The first birds of the summer are singing along the Trail. Chiffchaffs are singing in St Mary's Wood and at the Dingle, while a Blackcap has taken to singing in an ivy-covered tree just across the bridge from the traffic lights. However, although there are Swallows and Martins in the area we have not heard of any near the Trail or over Dingle Lake yet. Resident birds are also busy: a pair of Jays were showing interest in another of the ivied trees not far away - could they have nesting in mind there? - George

Butterflies and Bumblebees

A walk along the trail yesterday revealed the first Speckled Wood butterfly of the year at the Dingle. Quite a few big queen bumblebees were flying around, too. These included a couple of White-tailed Bumblebees and one stunning Large Red-tailed Bumblebee, the sort which is all black except for its fiery red tail. But most appeared to be Buff-tailed Bumblebees, which is interesting because I thought these were scarce last year. - George