It's been rainy, blustery and cool the last few days. There's been a lot of miserable looking fledglings crouching in the hedgerows waiting for the very busy parents to come back with mouthfulls of worms or insects. Saw a family of greenfinches yesterday in Castle woods. The blackbirds that successfully nested in the garden have unfortunately had two of the young taken by a sparrow hawk which often this time of year swoops over the hedge, and in a blink has a small bird in its claws and is gone, the house sparrows too fall prey frequently. It really is a fight for survival everyday!
Walked up into Castle woods and into the hills beyond, the sun came out half way through the walk and the birds suddenly started singing like a radio had been switched on! Saw a lovely pair of blackcaps. The bright yellow fields that were dandelions a couple of weeks ago have been replaced by buttercups, and the hawthorn bushes are thick with may blossom. Also all the banks are covered in cow parsley, which is I think another under-rated plant, it is very delicately pretty. The ramsons are in full flower and making a very appetizing smell as you walk through them.
The pipistrelle bat that comes to my garden every year came back a few nights ago, like everything else this year, it's late. Every other year it's very predictably returned on May 1st. Also saw two red kites in the area, one by Little-Mill and the other by Clytha, I don't suppose it will be too long before they return to colonise this area again.
Some days in May in the Usk Valley.