Monday, 14 May 2012

New leaf

Some sunshine and a weekend, remarkable... It was good to get out and catch up on the lawn-mowing and spend some time seeing what's going on out there.
Finally something is happening with my "watched" tree. It's actually more a watched hedge as it happens, a big, mishapen old ash down by the compost heap.
It's surrounded by plant growth, but until the last day or two has shown no sign of responding to spring itself. That's now changing as, at last, buds are bursting.
The great thing about taking such a close interest in just one tree is that you do look so much closer than you'd normally do. So, I was a little surprised to see how buds are at different growth stages at different points on the tree.
Close to the trunk in the shadier part of the hedge the buds are only just beginning to swell, but further out at the tips of the branches new leaves are forming. For now the foot of the hedge in bathed in sunshine, but as the ash canopy forms overheard it's all going to be lost to shade.
Just now there's a bank of Red Campion, that catches the morning sun and is attracting insects. There are lots of bees and some butterflies too - including this green-veined white.  
Before I went to find the camera to take these photos I could hear the creaky-gate call of a young robin somewhere close by. One of its parents kept an eye on me from a distance.
It took some time looking into a tangle of brambles to spot it spot the newly-fledged youngster perched in a little pool of sunlight. Of course it goes without saying that by the time I was back with my camera it was nowhere to be seen. 


  1. I've never heard a robin's call being described as a 'creaky gate'. I'll have to give them another listen.

  2. They grow up to be very tuneful, but fresh from the nest it's pure 'creaky gate'. If there was a robin-English Google translate I think it would come out as 'feed me, feed me now...'
    Btw any sign of your swifts yet?

  3. No, no swifts :( I've seen them over a couple of other places in South Manchester, so the entire population hasn't disappeared, but 'mine' aren't here yet.

    On the topic of birds sounding like something else - the starlings round here do a very good impression of seagulls. Do you think they overwinter near the sea or is this the equivalent of your creaky gate robins?

    1. Update: they've turned up! 22 May - very late, but bringing warm weather so I forgive them.

  4. Brilliant, and they've brought good weather with them. Only five here this year as far as I can see, but they're making their presence felt.