Friday, 24 March 2023


The main poplar tree on the Mundy playing field now has 11 nests. 

and there are even 3 nests in the neighbouring poplar, although in my photo it only looks like one.  

But the three in the ash tree have all disappeared.
It could be windy weather or other rooks - they like to pinch each others sticks rather than hunting for their own

However there are 5 nests in the nearby oak tree.  

Interesting that four are together and the other one is out on its own.  
The social life of rooks is an intricate affair.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Green shoots on the woodland floor

These green shoots resembling chives are Crow Garlic (Allium vineale).  Rabbits or deer have been nibbling these.  

And the popular NATIVE bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scriptus) which are spreading through Filnore Woods where the conditions are right.

Note the narrow leaves which show they are native bluebells, 

whereas these rather broader, pointed leaves are of Ramsons or Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)

Photo: Simon Dicker

Pick one and have a sniff if you're not sure.


Monday, 20 March 2023


Saturday afternoon I heard and saw my first chiffchaff of 2023.  Probably a male, staking out a territory and advertising for a partner.

Such a cheery greeting for the spring.

Although some chiffchaffs stay in Britain for the winter, most of them migrate south even as far as Africa, to feed on the insects and spiders which they like.

Males like a tall tree to sing from but the female builds her nest low down in brambles and undergrowth.

Here is a video of a singing male.  It's lovely to hear at first, but the song does go on a bit.


Sunday, 19 March 2023


There is a flower, the lesser celandine
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain
And, the first moment that the sun may shine
Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again.

William Wordsworth            

A bit of sunshine opens up a few waiting Celandine flower buds.  They're a menace in the garden but a delight on early spring verges.

Further along the walk I see that it's not just a few but myriads of these shining sun stars.

And the Germander Speedwell, also know as Bird's Eye, provides a contrasting blue sparkle.


Friday, 17 March 2023


Still some ivy berries for the birds,  to see them through the hungry gap at this time of year.


Tuesday, 14 March 2023


I always find it difficult to distinguish blackthorn flowers from cherry plum. 

Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) blooms earlier (usually) and the flowers are a bit larger and brighter white.  So if you notice a bush covered in slightly off-white flowers it'll be blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

I think these are cherry plum.

But cherry plum usually flowers at the same time as the leaves open, whereas blackthorn always flowers before bud-burst.

But only the cherry plum has green twigs, so as this photo of flower buds shows, it must be a cherry plum.

Maybe it doesn't matter but it's just a bit of a challenge.