May

Spring is now beginning to give over to summer, May and June are possibly the best times of the year to get out and see nature. The wildflowers in our hedgerow and meadows are coming into bloom, there are young birds and mammals everywhere and the dawn chorus is at its best.

Our woodlands are in full leaf now and will begin to become dark, cool havens as the summer heats up. But until then, we can still enjoy the bluebells before they finish. The woodlands are still full of bird life, with blue tits and most of the other woodland species frantically looking for insects to feed their ever-hungry chicks.

The dawn chorus is really in full flow, with all the summer migrants returned, including the difficult to distinguish warblers such as, garden, sedge and reed warbler as well as the scratchy sounding whitethroat. The first of the season’s seeds are ripening in our hedgerows and banks. Often the seed eating finches can be seen exploding from our boundaries as we drive along country roads. Our common finch species can be recognised by the bright bars on their wings (white for chaffinch, gold for gold finch and bright yellow/green for green finch).

You may also begin to find broken eggs shells around, suggesting a predator has found a nest. However, often the shells have been carried away from the nest by the adult bird, no longer needed by the chicks but a clear signal to potential predators if just dropped from the nest.

Around ponds and wet areas of field you may find stands of ragged robin, horse tails and irises. A few minutes of searching the vegetation around ponds will often allow you to find the empty exoskeletons of dragonflies nymphs, who have climbed up the vegetation to enter the final stage of their lives, on the wing, in search of a mate.