Have been away for a bit and so busy that I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I would have liked at Brandon Hill over the past 2 weeks. I have managed to pop in on a number of occasions though, and the most noticeable change is the amount of fledglings that are already out. There are a few broods of long-tailed tits out in the trees on the wooded side, a couple of juvenile blackbirds about on the lawn and the first fledgling great tits of the year are out on the Berkeley Square side. Very surprised to see the great tits out this early, but it has been such a warm spring that there is no reason they won’t survive and flourish and with so much of the summer left, I won’t be surprised if the adults go for a second brood. The blue tits are still very busy – none have fledged, but chicks are begging noisily inside their nest boxes and sound quite advanced. Adults are constantly in and out with food, but haven’t been calling them out, so will be a few days yet. I think the wildlife pond chicks will be first to go, so will keep a close eye on their progress.
The pond is looking a little healthier now, thanks to the rain. The yellow irises are coming into flower and there are plenty of damselflies out – mainly common blue, but a few large red flying around in tandem too.
The small red horse chestnut is alive with bumble-bees and honey-bees, now that it is in flower. Some underhanded behaviour from a few of the honey-bees there, who have learnt to puncture the side of the flowers with their proboscis to gain access to the nectar, without getting covered in pollen. You can see a number of small yellow dots on a lot of the flowers, which are old puncture wounds, but nothing to worry about as plenty of conkers are beginning to form, so the bees are still doing there job when collecting the pollen for the young. Clever bees!!!!
The meadow is looking nice, with plenty of red clover, creeping buttercup, bird’s-foot-trefoil and dozens of daisies out when the sun is shining.
The umbellifers skirting the meadow have been drawing the attention of the first few rose chafer beetles, which have started to come out.
Only other news from this week at Brandon Hill, has been my first sighting of a green-veined white in the park and have made friends with a feral pigeon – although he may have just had his eye on my lunch.