Bullfinches on Blossom

Church FentonDewsbury station, 9.45 a.m., 69°F, 20°C: As we wait for our train on platform 2, the south-east facing stone embankment is a sun trap this morning. A fresh looking peacock butterfly basks on the wall. large whiteOur first large whites, two of them, flutter over the blossoming shrubs. House sparrows chirrup and argue in the cover of the neatly trimmed laurel. A female blackbird disappears into a dense growth of ivy. She doesn’t seem to be plucking at berries so perhaps she has a nest hidden there. A wren sings lustily from the shrubs. peacockAbove, a grey squirrel climbs a eucalyptus, its grey green foliage contrasts with a clear, deep blue sky.

lapwingScarborough train, Church Fenton, 10.25 a.m.: The floods have subsided but some of the fields in the Vale of York are still sodden; three lapwings stand at the edge of a pool in a ploughed field. I glimpse a llama as we pass a farm.

dogs mercuryIn woodlands near Malton wood anemone is still in flower; there are pale yellow patches of primroses on the embankment; a few bluebells are starting to show and there’s lots of dogs mercury.

buzzard, Vale of Pickering

A heron stands in a marshy field; a buzzard flies over the Vale of Pickering. Cloud is building as we head to the coast.

Peasholm Park

bullfinch1.35 p.m., 45°F, 8°C, dropping cooler as it clouds over: Two bullfinches make a thorough job of nibbling the blossom buds on a small tree that overhangs the path in a quiet side valley in the woodland at Peasholm Park. I say quiet but a chaffinch sings an emphatically chirpy song, and a chiff-chaff is calling. Wood pigeon and great tit join in occasionally.

Marine Drive

redshank0416redshank4162.35 p.m., 50°F, 10°C, breeze from west north-west: A redshank sits out the high tide, perching on a boulder by the sea wall on Marine Drive, keeping its reddish bill tucked under its wing