• Barbara Copperthwaite

Fabulous firsts


Every day seems to bring something different at the moment; this is such an exciting time of year. Yesterday, I saw my first Speckled Wood butterflies. Two of them whirled around one another at dizzying speed as they flew through the air. What were they doing? Fighting. It will have been two males, one defending his territory against an interloper. At this time of year, when the temperatures can be low, it will be vital to hold onto a sunny spot to warm themselves and, of course, attract a female. I have to admit it was fabulous watching them as their wings caught the sunlight.

I also saw my first Comma of the year, and I was really pleased with the photographs I got. I hope you like the one I’ve chosen to share.

As I continued walking, pair of Nuthatch were working together on a tree. As soon as they exhausted it of food, one flew off to another trunk and was immediately followed by its mate. Surrounding them in the trees were Blue Tits, singing merrily. Below, a pair of Wrens flitted in front of me.

At Henbury Pond, a squirrel greeted me by running down a tree trunk headfirst, and drinking the water whilst still upside down. An impressive feat! A nearby Robin gave a piercing song of approval for its antics, it seemed to me. Even a Woodpecker joined in. I don’t normally hear the Great Spotted Woodpecker in this area, but there it was, its distinctive call sounding from within the nearby trees.

On the pond itself, the Moorhens have built a nest out on the water. Incidentally, now is the time to look out for some magnificent scraps between Moorhens still looking for a mate. They are only brief flurries, but impressive none-the-less, as they swing their legs out of the water and kick out with their feet. And don’t be fooled – this isn’t just males, it’s often females fighting over males. On Henbury Pond at least, all seems peaceful though.

#speckledwood #comma #nuthatch

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