Spring is a great time of year to get out and see some awesome wildlife. On Sunday, the sun was shining and the birds were singing, so Farmer Tin decided to get out into the countryside and see what he could find …
Wildlife Walk In East Sussex, England, Spring, 2015
A good naturalist always records as much information as he can. The date was 5th April 2015 — Easter day. The weather had been miserable in the morning, but the sun had come out in the afternoon, and it was quite warm: a lovely spring day. I was in East Sussex, in England, and the walk took me through farmland and woodland.
With camera in hand, I walked out of my house and down the lane that leads out of town.
The first thing I noticed as I left the town was the birdsong. It was continuous throughout the walk. The most vocal birds were great tits and chiffchaffs. Many other species of bird were also singing.
It was nice to hear chiffchaffs singing again: it meant that spring had arrived!
Chiffchaffs have a repetitive song that sounds as if they are saying their name over and over again: ‘Chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff’. They are small, creamy-green coloured, birds. Although some of them live in England all year round, most chiffchaffs only spend the summer here.
It is amazing to think that these little birds will fly all the way to the Mediterranean or even to Africa for the winter.
Early spring is a good time of year to look for birds. They sing to attract mates and to protect their territories, so you know where to look for them. Because there are no leaves on the trees yet, you can see birds that would otherwise be hidden.
As I walked further down the lane, I could hear great spotted woodpeckers drumming on the trees from the nearby woods. If you’re ever out in the countryside, and you hear a sound like a machine gun coming from high up in a tree, it may well be a woodpecker.
In my last report you can hear what a great spotted woodpecker’s drumming sounds like.
Country lanes and trails are great places to see wild flowers. Look on the verges at the sides of the road for splashes of colour.
I saw several types of spring flower, including daffodils, lesser celandines and primroses.
As I got further away from the town, the lane became a track, then a bridleway. Bridleways (for those who don’t live in the UK) are for horse riders, cyclists and walkers only: motor vehicles aren’t allowed on them.
Now deep in the English countryside, I came across the remains of old farm equipment and vehicles. Although it looks a bit scruffy, I always like seeing reminders of how we used to live and work in the country — as long as there’s not too much of it!
In the sunshine, it’s easy to forget that the countryside can be a dangerous place — especially if you’re a small bird or mammal! As I looked over the fields, I caught a glimpse of a predator out hunting. It was a buzzard, gliding over the fields and trees in search of prey.
Buzzards might be the UK’s commonest bird of prey, but it’s still nice to see one.
A Herd Of Deer
I was walking quietly, and through the trees I saw a herd of fallow deer. Before I had a chance to take a photo, they saw me and disappeared deeper into the woods. I didn’t even have a chance to count them, but I think that there were around 6 or 7 in the group.
During the walk, I saw several types of butterfly, including a brimstone. The brimstone is a big, yellow butterfly that appears in the spring. Its wings are shaped to look like leaves.
I also saw peacock and red admiral butterflies.
When I got home, I looked through all of the photos I had taken. It’s a great idea to take a camera with you when you are nature-spotting. It also gives you an instant record of what you saw.
I hope you enjoyed this report, and that it has inspired you to get out into the countryside — wherever you live in the world. Remember to take some photos! It’s also a great idea to write up a report as soon as you get back. That way you won’t forget to include any of the things that you saw.
Enjoy the spring, and happy nature watching!