Birds and Bees

To Sunday 20th April
Reeling Grasshopper Warbler, CWP
A few musings since my last update. In the Cotswold Water Park, the scrubby area to the north of  pits 43/65 was teeming with birds yesterday morning, including a Cuckoo, a Grasshopper Warbler (above), and several Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers, all ticks for the year. I returned in a similar direction in the afternoon with the family to visit North Meadow, Cricklade, for the annual show of Snake's Head Ftilliaries. These were giving a good show, certainly better than last year when the cold spring had affected their growth.
Snake's Head Fritillaries, North Meadow, Cricklade
Even though the bird is an escape, I had to go to Coombe Hill Meadows on 11th to see the exotic African Spoonbill. I wonder where it's come from? I also year-ticked a fine male Redstart and two Little Ringed Plovers here, and at least five Pike were in the canal.
African Spoonbill, Coombe Hill Meadows; next to dancing Greylag
Pike, Coombe Hill Canal
On 12th, the tide at Saul Warth yielded little, but a male Wheatear was north of the sluice; its extensive buff underside suggesting Leucorhoa Greenland type.
Wheatear, Saul Warth
Leucorhoa? - it was ringed later I learned, but metrics were inconclusive
Late on the 12th at Upton upon Severn, a pair of Redshanks were at Upper Ham, Upton upon Severn, and showing well at the side of the riverside footpath.
Redshank, Upton upon Severn
On 13th these two Brown Hares were in the old orchard opposite Haywicks Farm, Hardwicke:
Brown Hares, Hardwicke
On 13th at Snowshill Manor, I spotted some interesting King Alfred’s Cakes fungus, Daldinia concentric, between the car park and the manor; very distinctive and strange-looking.
King Alfred’s cakes, Daldinia concentric, Snowshill Manor
And finally, some photos from Good Friday, 18th, taken at the National Trust's Brockhampton Estate in Hereforshire, of Orange-tip, and Hairy-footed Flower Bee and Common Carder Bee. As I was trying to photograph the bees, next to the front door of the house, a very helpful guide, looking at me pointing the camera amongst the shrubs, asked me "is the the flowers or the  bees?". "the bees" I said. She said "see that tree", pointing behind me, "it's a Tamarisk; the tenant bought it from Woolworth's in 1956; it cost 6 pence", "Well I never, I've got one in my front garden. It doesn't look that old." I said. As I continued photographing the bees I thought - perhaps I should have sounded more impressed? Sorry.
Orange-tip on Cuckoo Flower
Female Hairy-footed Flower Bee, Brockhampton
Common Carder Bee, Brockhampton

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