Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Bluebells, Cuckoos and Woodpeckers

Bluebells Maentwrog Nature Reserve 1st June 
We take bluebells so much for granted because we have so many - people from other countries in Europe are amazed with our profusion of bluebells.  They arrive around us a bit later than in the valley below and last well into June.

In Welsh they're called Clychau'r Gog - bells of the cuckoo - because they flower about the same time as the first cuckoo arrives. That's another species that used to be taken for granted but now after a significant population decline they are on the Red List of endangered species. But this part of Wales has a healthy population of them.

Another of my favourites at this time of year is the Greater Spotted Woodpecker. Finding a nest is never too difficult. Just walk into the woods and wait until you hear the call and see the distinctive looping flight of the bird with its heavy head. Then close your eyes and listen for the plaintive cries of young woodpecker chicks calling out for food.

Once the youngsters leave the nest we enjoy seeing them come to the bird table for the first time - all gawky and getting used to that massive beak.

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