April 2020 and lockdown

It’s a different world out there nowadays and because of the dreaded Covid-19 virus we live by new rules with new phrases such as ‘self-isolation’, ‘social-distancing’ and ‘Book a Slot’ dictating our way of life. So no fortnightly Lym Nats walks around our area and in the New Forest to enjoy the unravelling of spring with its fresh green leaves and emerging flowers, blossoms, butterflies and the arrivals of summer visitors such as Swifts, swallows and warblers. Only a lucky few might hear or see a Cuckoo this spring. 

With the sunshine we enjoyed during April winter’s bare trees turned to green, the early white blossom of Bird Cherry, gave way to Blackthorn, which in turn passed the baton to Hawthorn as April turned to May. Already fledged Blackbird chicks are begging for food from their parents on lawns and roadside verges and hopefully it won’t be long before Swifts return to scream over Lymington.

Blackbird - male feeding recently fledged youngster © Chris Robinson
Nature and wildlife continues as normal, perhaps appreciating a quieter world and less traffic on our roads, so that perhaps birdsong is more noticeable than before and uncut roadside verges are more floriferous than usual. To highlight the changing seasons Lym Nats set up a Facebook group on the internet for our members to stay in touch with one another and to share their sightings - be it from within their gardens or exercise walks. In many ways nature and natural history gives us something to look for and to look forward to as the spring turns to summer.  

Contributors to the Facebook group have shown us newts in ponds, foxes in gardens, a great variety of insects, spring flowers and birds. If you are a Lym Nats member and haven’t yet joined (apologies to anyone who slipped through the net when it was set up) why not consider joining and contributing? The more the merrier! RC

And here are some of the magical April moments from our Facebook pages:

Singing male Whitethroat © Becky Wells
Mistle Thrush with food © Chris Robinson
A Dunnock springs into action © Glynis Payne
Male Great Spotted Woodpecker on feeder © Richard Coomber
Wood Anemones and Lesser Celandines © Richard Smith
Narrow-leaved Lungwort © Richard Smith
Three-cornered Garlic - an invasive species © Richard Coomber

Lady's Smock or Cuckooflower © Maureen Fidkin
Green-winged Orchid along Woodside Lane, Lymington © Maureen Fidkin
Mallard ducklings © Mary Mawdsley
Orange-tip - male © Richard Coomber
Garlic-mustard or Jack-by-the-hedge- a food plant of Orange-tip caterpillars © Richard Coomber
Bluebells © Carol Giles
Fourteen-spot Ladybird © Chris Robinson
Adder © Mary Mawdsley

Large Red Damselfly - mating pair © Richard Smith

Honeysuckle Sawfly © Chris Robinson
Early Purple Orchid © Chris Robinson
Stag Beetle - male © Chris Robinson
Green Alkanet © Maureen Fidkin
Streamer (moth) © Richard Coomber

Water Crowfoot © Richard Smith
Hawthorn or May © Richard Coomber