At the crack of dawn on a rather moody looking Easter Monday, I stumbled, bleary eyed, down to Rookery Park for this month’s Tree Following (previous Tree Followings are available here, here and here). Upon reaching my destination, the park was completely deserted. Even in the early mornings, there are usually a few dog walkers around, so it was rare treat to have the place to myself for a while. The lack of humans and dogs also meant that the local wildlife was out enjoying itself; more on that later. Before we take a look at the avenue of lime trees I am following, it is worth mentioning that I am not alone in following a tree! Clicking on the picture below will take you to Squirrelbasket’s website, where you can browse a selection of other Tree Following posts.
Here’s my usual shot of the avenue:
From this vantage, it all looks much the same, but on closer inspection there are signs of change. The photo below hints at these signs of growth, whilst also adding to the sense of anticipation…
I think we’re now ready to witness the Breaking of the Buds.
There we are: the red scale leaves are being pushed apart, and the green leaves are just about making their way into the fresh air. If circumstances allow, I might try to take some photos before next month to catch the intermediary stages of leaf growth. Next Tree Following, the leaves will more than likely be completely opened.
Around the the base of the trees, a slight covering of Chickweed is beginning to establish itself:
Before continuing, we must, of course, appraise another art offering:
This has a very mournful quality to it: the jagged down-turned mouth certainly doesn’t scream happiness. The eyes add a bit more edge to the overall impression. Perhaps grumpy would be the best description of this month’s featured face. Feel free to add your thoughts!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I saw and heard quite a few birds while I was perusing the park. Hearing-wise I managed to pick out a Great Tit, Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush and a Woodpecker. After hearing it’s song, I spotted the Coal Tit in question, fluttering about between a conifer and the upper reaches of the lime trees. The Woodpecker was an unexpected surprise, but quite unmistakable! The sound echoes around quite a lot, but I eventually pinned the sound down to the Oak tree pictured below. By chance, I saw a little bit of movement on one of the tree’s dead limbs and caught sight of the Woodpecker. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the zoom lens with me, but you can just about make it out in the centre of the right hand photo:
I mentioned Mistle Thrush too; it’s a bird I’m seeing with increasing frequency at the moment. Partly, I think, because I’m becoming more familiar with it. I though I had heard one singing, but wasn’t sure. As I moved around trying to catch sight of another unidentified song bird, I came across this pair of very confident Thrushes:
They were unflustered by my presence and even hopped towards me to investigate. After a while they decided I wasn’t worth the risk of hanging around (quite right too!) and scurried off screeching their alarm call as they went.
That’s all for this month’s Tree Following, but things are coming along nicely. By next month, the avenue and the park in general will be looking a lot more green and leafy. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see a bit more of the wildlife too. See you next time!