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Nature Notes:  April 2009
Compiled by Pat and Charles

The warm sunny weather has brought spring to the Common. Plant growth is surging ahead. On 31st March we saw celandine in flower on West Common and wood anemone near the Old School House. On East Common the patch of white sweet violets about 30 yards east of the car park was in full flower. Red deadnettle, field speedwell and ground ivy were also flowering. We found the little clump of blue garden Chionodoxa which Pam Rumfitt told us about last year. How did that come to be in a remote corner of the Common? Hawthorns are coming into leaf and buds are starting to burst on other trees. Soon the blackthorn and cherries should be in flower. The catkins on the male sallow bushes (pussy willows) were going over but the bumblebees were still working the flowers on the female bushes for their nectar. Sallow seedlings have been springing up over much of Middle Common. This creates a problem as they can reduce the value of the hay. The hay cut is important. It keeps the Common open and full of flowers.

A black rabbit was on the concrete road, a first for us on the Common though they are elsewhere in the neighbourhood. A skylark and song thrush were singing. The first swallows have been seen in Bedfordshire. Birds are busy finding nest sites now and starting to collect nesting material. Butterflies, such as brimstone, peacock and comma are flying on sunny days.  Plenty of look forward to as the Common moves through the spring and summer sequence of colours.

See March’s Nature Notes

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March 2009

Red Deadnettle

Sweet Violets

Skylark

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