Nature Diaries – April

Published on April 21st 2019
A close up of a piece of paper

Regaining motivation

Last month I had slightly lost the balance between working, socialising and relaxing. I realised that I was rushing around so much that I had barely paused to breathe, let alone take a look at my surroundings. Large gaps were appearing in my nature diary where I hadn’t written anything down for several days, and this made me feel disheartened. It seemed as though I was failing to keep up my New Year’s resolution. I had to remind myself that this was meant to be a mindful activity, not a chore. I should simply be observant when I was out and about and write things down when I got the chance. I managed to take the pace down a few notches and regain balance, and as a result, my nature memories for this month are overflowing! It is so important not to put pressure on yourself, or set targets for activities aimed at decreasing stress.
A tree with clouds and blue sky

The weasel returns, twice!

This month has brought with it two more wonderful sightings of the little weasel that lives around the potting shed at work. Of course, I can’t be sure that it is the same one, and this one was very small, so I suspect it is a youngster! On one of the occasions, I managed to take a photo (albeit not a very good one) and a small video as it scurried in and out of sight between pots; trying to hide from me in my pursuit to get a closer look.

Blue skies and butterflies

Although we have had many characteristic ‘April showers’ this month, we have also had some glorious weather. Bright blue skies and longer evenings are a great combination! I have also spotted a few butterflies around, which I absolutely love, so there has been lots of cause for celebration.
A close up of a flower


I have also spotted some amphibious wildlife that is completely different from anything noted in my diary so far. The first of these was a great crested newt! I stumbled across it while moving pots around in the shade tunnel at work. My second cold-blooded encounter was with a pair of frogs, also hiding under some pots; I managed to take some pictures of one of them before they made themselves scarce.
A frog sitting on the ground

Wildflowers of spring

A couple of my favourite flowers have appeared in force in the last few weeks. These are Celandines and Forget-me-nots. They are not particularly showy, but they make my walk to work much more cheerful. They are also lovely to paint, making them an excellent spot for my nature diary!

What have the birds been up to

I have noted down several bird-related memories this month. Some were simply ‘the sound of a Woodpecker drumming,’ or ‘Goldfinches spotted.’
A bird sitting on top of a table
Another was rather comical, as a Moorhen got itself trapped in one of our tunnels and I tried to herd it back outside (with minimal success, but it worked it out eventually). My highlight this month, however, has been a nesting blackbird. She has made a rather unusual choice of locations for her nest - on a shelf in our main display tunnel at the garden centre. She guards three tiny blue eggs all day while customers browse around her completely unaware. I do hope she successfully manages to raise her chicks!
A close up of a piece of paper

Thank you for reading my nature diaries! Please feel free to share your own April highlights with me by tagging @thebristolbotanist or using #naturediaries.

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