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May 2017

As a result of the mild winter followed by a frost free, dry spring, the blossom has been prolific. Thick clusters of blooms on Cherries, Crab Apples, Magnolias, Apple and Pear trees to name a few, which will produce an abundance of fruit later in the year.

On a warm day the bees buzz from one flower to the next gathering nectar. An insect that imitates them is the bee fly. It has a furry body, hovers motionless except for its rapidly beating wings, then shoots off to hover somewhere else. It has a long proboscis with which it gathers nectar. I thought they were cute little harmless things until I read that they are parasitic, placing there eggs in solitary bees or wasps nests, usually underground, their larvae, when hatched, feed on the resident larvae.

At Breton causeway near Abberton, the Herons and Cormorants are all sitting on nests. The Herons, on the left of the causeway, had their nests on the top most branches of tall trees, very vulnerable to wind and rain. The Cormorants, on the right, had nests staggered half way down, more vulnerable from the poo from their neighbours’ nests!!

Saw a handful of Swallows and Martin’s who had made it safely back after their long journey from Africa.

On 15th April heard the first Cuckoo of the year in the woods at Mark’s Hall. Of all the Woods in that area none had any notable bluebells in.

Finally got my bluebell fix. Left the crowds who were walking round Hockley Wood, crossed the railway to enter Hockley Hall wood, they were good there, but further on in Beckney Wood what a stunning display. Definitely had the wow factor. – Maisie –