A Taste of Spring
As the autumn winds start to swirl outside and the chlorophyll drains from the leaves turning the trees to their rusty and golden hues, my thoughts go back to the Spring. I love Springtime, a time of renewal and hope for the warmer months to come after the long dark days of winter. However, this year the UK climate had other ideas and cool days and torrential rain predominated and nature's calander was perturbed. The usual arrival of migrant birds seemed to be delayed by about a fortnight and then all the summer visitors suddenly seemed to arrive at once. So this post is about some of those Spring birds, the photographs of which have sat on my hard drive gathering dust.
One of the first arrivals each year are the Northern Wheatear, usually touching down around the end of March. They are welcome addition of warm colour against the be-draggled vegetation ravaged by the winter weather. An energetic bounding bird species that pause briefly along the local coast as they head northward during their journey from Africa to northern breeding areas. The females are attractive but for the photographer the male birds in their smart and bolder spring colours are the real prize
During mid to late April the scrub, reedbeds and low lying bushes come to the life with the churring, click, grating sounds of warblers. First the Grasshopper Warblers but closely followed by the Sedge and Reed varieties and the Whitethroats. Not wishing to become too anthropomorphic but Common Whitethroat always seem to be a slightly 'angry' and 'impaitent' bird. They are always fun to photograph and relatively easy with the right approach.
At the beginning of May Yellow Wagtails arrive brought, on the warming winds from the south. A brilliant splash of yellow and green amongst the rapidly growing vegetation. The first encounter with one of these birds each year always brings a smile.