Spring Has Definitely Sprung

Bank holiday Monday, and the sun was beating down on Surrey, the birds were singing away, and there was barely a cloud in sight. Spring has finally arrived, and it has brought with it green, sun and more importantly, fresh life. It was a perfect opportunity to head back to Papercourt and see the changes Spring has brought.

The first thing that was clear when we arrived was the burst of colour and sound. A few moments after arriving, there was an explosion of sound to our left. There must have been at least a dozen reed warblers singing their little hearts out in the reeds next to us. None of them were visible, but there was no doubt that they were there. It looked like this would turn out to be a very good day.

The reeds were providing great cover for the warblers

A short way further down the path, as it entered a more sheltered area, we realised that running all the way down the path on the right hand side was a (tall) blanket of white flowers, that weren't there on our last visit. They were home to many insects as well, with butterflies flying all around us, occasionally landing on a flower, giving us time to admire them, and grab a picture.

Macro Flower

The most common butterfly that we spotted next to the path was the Green-Veined White. I personally have never seen one of these before, so that was an added bonus. I was lucky in that one landed very close and in a patch of sunlight, allowing me to take a picture of the butterfly with it's wings out, basking in the sun.

Green-Veined White

Moving on, we reached the main lake, and the sound here was even more incredible than the Reed Warblers at the beginning. But this time it wasn't birds. The animals in question were in fact frogs (or toads, we're not sure!). The noise was amazing, and unusually loud. It lasted for almost five minutes straight, before finally dying out. I've never heard frogs so loud before.

Continuing around, we came across more flowers and plants that just added to the feel of spring, and with the sun shining it was brilliant to see the vivid colour that had arrived to Papercourt with the arrival of spring.

More flowers
Willow Catkin

As we neared the end of our circuit, we came across two or three owl pellets on the ground. You could clearly see the fur and a few bones in the pellet. We think the pellets were from a Short-Eared Owl, as there were several very close together and Short-Eared Owls spend a lot of their time on the ground. Papercourt has a resident population of these owls, so it seems the most likely. A great find!

(Short-Eared) Owl Pellet

After a great trip to Papercourt, we were heading back to the car, when I spotted a lone dandelion next to the path. On closer inspection, I realised that the dandelion had a small bee on it (I'm not sure exactly what species it is). If you look at the pictures closely, you can see the pollen on the legs and abdomen of the bee. A lovely way to finish.

Bee on dandelion (species tbc)
Bee on dandelion (species tbc)

Spring has definitely sprung in Papercourt.


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