Nature Awareness Update 12th April 2013

12 04 2013

I tried the nature awareness hour twice this week, firstly on Thursday but it began to rain very heavily so I came back on Friday at 5.15pm. The weather was sunny and there were a few big white and light grey clouds in the mostly blue sky. There was a gentle breeze but it was warm enough to have only a jumper on rather than a coat, which is one of the first times its been warm enough to do so this year.

It was a lot quieter today as its no longer the school holidays and as its early evening I think many people were having tea. I really enjoyed the time out in nature today and some words kept going through my mind which proved to be quite prophetic. They were “the graces of the Earth Mother” and I believe it was a message from Mother Nature. I understand “grace” from a Christian point of view i.e. getting something nice that we don’t deserve…and that’s exactly how I felt the hour went.

Horse Chestnut in Spring

Horse Chestnut in Spring (Photo credit: bbusschots)

I noticed a lot of new things about nature today – I noticed there were two more Horse Chestnut trees in the nature reserve and many of their buds had burst. The buds were huge and their “five finger like” leaves were now out. I also noticed there were lots of Dock leaves around and many Buttercups and Dandelions too. On the way there I saw many Daffodils beginning to die off, but the ones in the reserve were still going strong and I saw a new lot there too. The reserve also has some bramble areas that I hadn’t previously noticed.

When I first arrived there were at least four different distinct birds singing, there was a Moot Swan sat on its nest sunbathing and periodically adding bits to it. There were no birds in the pond at first but I was later joined by four Mallard Ducks and two Moor-Hens who were swimming, cleaning themselves and eating plants in the pond. There were Sea Gulls flying over head and a few wood pigeons in the trees. During the course of the hour the Wood Pigeons would fly between the trees and the ground. Unfortunately there was also a dead Wood Pigeon up one of the trees too :(.

Great Tit

Great Tit (Photo credit: AntoGros)

An amazing sight I saw today were a few Great Tits. One in particular flew to a nest box very close to me. It went inside for about 20 seconds, then popped its head out, flew on top of the nest box and then off elsewhere. When it flew it went in an up-down motion like a wave. It returned many times throughout the hour and each time flew away in a different direction. I love the colours on these birds so it was a real treat to see.

I saw many other small birds flying between the trees, landing on the reeds and then flying down to the ground. One was definitely a Chaffinch – it was brown, white and orange. I think the others were Wrens or Dunnocks and Long Tailed Tits. They were too far away from me to see clearly though.

A black bird that was either a Raven or Crow flew over and I also saw another brown bird up close but couldn’t identify it. It may have been a House Sparrow.

Another amazing sight was a heron flew over head and caused a commotion among the Sea Gulls in a lake nearby. I never expected to see one of those around. Then came the final “grace of the Earth Mother”. Just after 6pm I saw either a Pipistrelle Bat or a Greater Horseshoe Bat. It flew over the pond and circled it a couple of times diving down to the water twice before it flew off. I felt very blessed to see it as I have only seen bats in the wild once before in my life.

I felt very peaceful during the hour as well as being in awe of the graces of the Earth Mother today. Seeing the Bat, Heron and Great Tits was amazing. On the way home I noticed a small piece of rubbish so I picked that up too.



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