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Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring catch up - some recent images from around York

You maybe wouldn't know it but Spring has finally sprung and although as I write this after a weekend of mainly wet weather, we've had a few sunny days up in Yorkshire haven't we? Yes we have .... about 7 so far I reckon! Oh well, here's to another hit and miss English summer but hey we should be used to it by now and whilst many might continue to agonise over global weather phenomena, I'm just glad to be alive to experience another Spring, to see flowers sprouting, trees budding and birds singing and making merry once again.

Here's the first of 2 posts featuring some choice Spring pics from my recent wanderings, not that I've wandered any further than good old Yorkshire!

Peacock Butterfly
This Peacock Butterfly perched on a Hazel Catkin was taken a couple of weeks ago at Askham Bog on the kind of day when the sun really did shine and we all expected to be short trousers and t shirts until the football season starts again!

No butterflies on this Willow Blossom at Wheldrake Ings a few weeks ago but striking nonetheless with that windswept blue sky as a backdrop.

Back in April I dropped into the Heslington East site on the university campus here in York and got lucky with a passing Common Tern, it never came quite near enough for a really good shot but I like seeing birds slightly out of context and this migrant floating around the lake next to 100s of oblivious students certainly fits that bill.

Pair of Redshanks getting it on at York Uni!

Not so much 'out of context',  more surprising and encouraging were this pair of Redshanks caught mating on the same site ...... not that students at York Uni need much in the way of sex ed!

Amazingly there were 25 plus Wheatears recorded on this same site on the same day, I saw 6, but in most years I'm happy just to see 1 or 2 in the York area. Not sure why this has been such a bumper year for these handsome harbingers of Spring or even if its been the same story elsewhere in the UK but I'm sure someone will tell me. Maybe the strong winds from the South in April just funnelled and concentrated them through these parts more than usual?

This striking male (pics right & below) was one of 16 counted in just one ploughed field on Langwith Stray, just a couple of miles outside of York. As with many migrating bird species its usually the males that form the vanguard in order to make an early start on establishing a territory.

Back on Askham Bog, although its been a slow old process but the flowers are beginning to bloom now and at last the trees are leafy green again, I'll be doing a special post on some of the unique plant and insect life on the bog at some point later in the season but here's a few pics from last month of typical 'bog birds' enjoying the Spring!

Displaying Wren

Reed Bunting in full breeding plumage

 Displaying Sparrowhawks  ... look at the size difference! (female is the big one)

Singing Robin

Enjoy the Spring, its out there somewhere! 

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