Where ever you are in the country side this month there is plenty to see. Many birds are in the middle of rearing their first brood. Summer visitors are returning and are busy nest building. Wild flowers are beginning to be at their best, Butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, dragonflies and some mammals are easier to see. Our local woods will be a bright mass of colour. Do remember to go and look and if you are quiet you could be lucky to see deer, fox, woodpeckers and even owls and bats if you go in the evening. We are very luck in Norfolk to have the Swallowtail butterfly exclusively to the Broads area. Also a rare bird the Stone Curlew has limited distribution in the country and can only be found in Wiltshire and in our Breckland area and at Cley. People will travel from all parts of England to see these two species!
So what to look or listen for this Month
- Hedgehogs mating.
- Trees and hedgerows in flower. The fantastic “Candelabra on the Horse Chestnut Trees. The blossom on other trees and hedge rows will include the Hawthorn (also known as May) etc all seems to be especially good this year after the very cold hard winter. Towards to end of the month the elder also flowers with big odorous saucers of tiny flowers.
- Most birds are busy nesting and this will include the summer visitors that have just returned from far a field. With the Swifts being one of the last to arrive.
- Song birds singing – the ‘dawn chorus’ It is worth getting up early and going to our local wood or just wandering around your garden!
- Butterflies emerging.
- Woodland flowers and meadow flowers, including orchids. May seems to be a month of lots of Mauve and blue! The Bluebells will be out in Lower wood ,Ashwellthorpe as well as Early Spotted Orchids, Dog toothed Violet ,Lady’s Smock Wood anemone (some are pinkish) to name but a few in that colour range.
- On a warm day in May the first of the Dragonflies and Damselflies are emerging.
- Insects start to make a big impact this month, quite literally. If you hear a thump against the outside of a window it may well be a cockchafer beetle. This is one of our largest beetles and the brown, slightly fury adult appears in May, and heads towards street lights and lit windows in search of a mate. The pupae live for two years as plump ‘c’ shaped larva in the soil and form an important food source for rooks and crows.