The flowers begin to bloom and first mallard chick…
Friday 8th April 2011 – 20:30: Another wonderfully warm and sunny spring day and, best of all, it’s Friday. By 5 o’clock the marsh was calling me, so I grabbed my camera and made my way down there. I hadn’t been down to the marsh for over a week and the ground had turned green in the meantime. There is too much green. I like green for a relatively short time after the browns of winter and then I start craving a bit of colour: there was not much colour down the marsh tonight. The only blooms to break the monotony were lesser celandine, red and white dead-head nettle, forget-me-not and bird cherry flowers and there weren’t many of these.
The water levels in Hoo Brook, the Stour and the north pond were quite low. The water level in the north pond must have dropped a good foot since the beginning of the year.
As I crept along the twin large diameter cast iron pipes that cross the north pasture, a munjac broke cover in the tangled undergrowth of the swamp – again too quickly for me get my camera onto it. This muntjac was a tan colour and not the dark brown muntjac I normally see.
I saw my first mallard chick of the year on the north pond; it swam under dead tree branches and appeared to be all on its own – there were two mallards on the pond, but they flew off when the saw me, so they were probably mum and dad.
There were quite a few butterflies about – mainly small tortoiseshell’s – and bumble bees.
I stood in my holly tree hide for a while, watching the pond, when a tawny owl flew out of it; it had been perched above me until I started clearing the dead leaves from the floor.
All in all, it was a very pleasant and enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a warm spring evening; the only other thing I could think of that might come close is a large barbecue, half a dozen cold beers and a whiskey or two – a single beer in my fridge will have to do me tonight.