Nature Notes

So I'm writing and publishing this post today which is Wednesday 25th May 2016. I'm really glad that I decided to take my pictures for this post over the past few days and edit them because the weather has been glorious, but right now it's 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday and the weather outside is despicable! Wind, rain and miserable, ominous clouds. If I had decided to take the pictures for this post today then I would have been severely disappointed, as would you guys...

A lot of the things that I've been noticing are really difficult to take pictures of so I haven't been able to document them properly, for that I sincerely apologise.

The cuckoo has been back in the park now for roughly a month (I stupidly didn't write down the exact date I first heard it). It's endearing sound echoes for miles around, and on a daily basis I get visitors commenting how lovely it is to hear, because they haven't heard one where they live for years. If I'm honest, I hear it every day and it does start to drive one slightly insane. I would really love to get a picture of said cuckoo but I really wouldn't have the first clue where to start looking. Because we're in a valley I genuinely cannot tell which direction the noise is coming from. Also, if I'm really honest, I don't know that I'd immediately recognise a cuckoo.

The swallows are nesting in the Hemmel. They come back to this area every year and they are simply magnificent. They are migratory and travel for absolutely miles every year to South Africa and back. They eat flying insects and you can observe them dipping, diving and swooping to catch these flying insects in their mouth. You can see great flocks of swallows bunched up on fences and phone lines. I love that they are so acrobatic, they can fly through the smallest of spaces with so much skill and make it look so easy. I would love to get a picture of a swallow, but they are simply to quick! I looked like a right plank the other day running around the field with Rick's camera trying to get an action shot of a swallow. It really was a futile effort.

Hares are really common up here in Northumberland. I don't recall actually ever having seen a hare in Dorset. So basically my first time ever seeing a hare was when I moved to Northumberland last year. There are loads of them. They've just about finished boxing now. Watching the boxing displays was fantastic and thrilling, but really difficult to photograph. I think this post is just turning into a "Ellie's really bad at photography" post.

The badgers are creating a new sett in Chillingham. They've been really busy! I've noticed that the soil in this particular area is really sandy so I think that's made for easier digging and quicker progress.

Hawthorn. Horrible to walk through but a gloriously beautiful flower when it arrives. I find it really bizarre that in different parts of Chillingham, the hawthorn is at different stages. As you can see, here it's in it's small, flowery ball stage. In other areas, it's already in full bloom. In another part, it still hasn't finished growing leaves yet. Maybe due to the light available? Or different soil types? I'd be interested to find out.

I hope you're all enjoying your nature-ful adventures. What's going on in your part of the country?

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