April is a fabulous month for wildlife, it is a magical time of rebirth and renewal. Everything seems to be happening at once with the trees and shrubs bursting into leaf with fresh, vibrant green foliage. Flowers are blooming, insects emerging ,bird song growing in volume and diversity with early morning sleep disturbed by a strident blackbird or song thrush. In the countryside on sunny days the chiff-chaff and blackcap will be singing, and you will see the rest of the of the summer migrants arriving. Remember that if you get caught in an April shower it will freshen everything up and the smell will be wonderful!
So what to look or listen for this Month
- Returning summer visitors (birds) and seabirds nestingSong birds singing. Even if you cannot identify them just listen and enjoy it.
- Trees and hedgerows in leaf .
- Look out for Butterflies emerging especially for Orange-tip Butterflies (Wood Lady) the males being very easy to recognize! Some butterflies will be rather ragged and they will be the ones which managed to survive the winter hidden up somewhere.
- Early meadow flowers including orchids. Remember there are orchids in Lower wood , Ashwellthorpe and Talcolneston wood and many more local areas.
- Woodland flowers especially in Lower Wood , Ashwellthorpe the floor can be a mass of white wood anemone, ramson’s flowers –wild garlic , and slightly later a blue carpet packed with bluebells. It is possible to catch their heady scent even before you are under the filling treetop canopy
- Look for new Molehills but hopefully not in your lawn. If you see a large one amongst them this could be the Fortress -the molehill that contains a football sized nest where the young are being raised.
- Listen out for the Cuckoo. I have not heard them in this Parish for a few years but I have heard them around the Hethel area!
- Look out for the amphibians -Frogs, Toads, Newts and their spawn. (Remember our Toad Watch! and look on the special page about it) Also this month’s wildlife article is on Amphibians.
- Slow- worms emerging from hibernation may be seen basking in the sun.