Wednesday, 20 April 2016

first cuckoo and late spring blossom

Spring is spreading across the countryside rapidly now. The hedges are white with blackthorn blossom and  oilseed rape is turning the fields bright yellow. On Monday (April 18th) I heard the first cuckoo of the year. The bird was hidden somewhere in these woods which are just beginning to come into leaf.

I have noted the date of the first cuckoo over several years and in 2014 I posted that I heard the first cuckoo on 17th April.

The British Trust for Ornithology operates a cuckoo tracking program and the migration patterns of individual cuckoos can be followed here. One cuckoo, Chris, was tracked for five years and during that time spent 38% of his time on migration, 48% in the Congo and just 18% in the UK.

Although the cuckoo arrived in the UK about the same time in 2014 and 2016, spring did not arrive at the same time.

In 2014 I noted that the first cuckoo and the first apple blossom appeared about the same time. I took a picture of the apple blossom on our crab apple tree - picture below.

Crab Apple blossom - April 17th 2014
 By way of comparison I took a photograph of this years blossom buds.

Bramley Apple - April 19th 2016
The cold weather recently has slowed down the spring growth and all the blossom is later. Despite the warm weather over the past couple of days both the Bramley and crab apple are still tightly in bud. 


Heather LeFebvre said...

Hi Willow! It's taken me too long to get back over and say I'm excited that you purchased the Edinburgh Silent Traveller book. Of all the readers on my blog I think you will appreciate it the most! It was so fascinating to think of Edinburgh from a Chinese artist's point of view. If you ever see "The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds" by Julie Zickefoose I think you would really enjoy that book too. Your countryside photos are lovely! I found some cherry brandy rudbeckia seeds but they haven't sprouted yet. I'm worried my $6 was spent in vain. :( But my cardoons are coming along nicely. I am slowly trying to work in the garden -- best to pace myself. :) I also want to add a lilac bush and a butterfly bush this year.

willow said...

Hi Heather, I am enjoying the book. I like the illustrations, many of the scenes haven't changed that much. His observations are interesting - a very wise man I think.