A very quick post to say I heard our first Cuckoo on April 11th, one day earlier than last year. Have you heard any where you are? It used to be thought that Cuckoos turned into Sparrowhawks before hibernating in mud for the winter. Edward Jenner, who produced the first successful Smallbox vaccine, was one of the first people to postulate on migration to account for their absence over winter instead.
Swallows have been seen a few miles from here too and we are tripping over Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Is it just me or is the migration getting earlier and earlier?
We're tripping over Hairy-Footed Flower Bees here at the moment too. They visit the Lithodora daily so if you don't have one I highly recommend it. HFFB's are small black bees with yellow knees (the girls) or stripy bees (the boys). They're about the size of my thumb nail and they hover in front of flowers taking nectar. They're a Spring bee and are out now so do check your flowers for them.
The other first this week has been a male Orange-Tip whom I spotted yesterday in the garden. Would love to know if you've seen any yet where you are (if you're UK based, obvs!). And the Small White pupae I've been nursing all winter in the greenhouse have emerged this week too. It's all go here :o).
In other news, the break from computers is having the desired effect and the book is coming on nicely. I've been out filming badgers most nights which is a complete delight, highlights have been watching two squabble over the same peanut. One bumped the other off it, only for the other one to get revenge by scent marking the bumper on the bottom! I've also been watching the newts slip into their mating finery in the pond and yesterday discovered a freshly shedded dragonfly nymph case floating on the surface.
T and P are well and send you all love. I hope you're all well too.