We took the 487 bus from Sir Thomas Street at 10.30, arriving at the Seven Stars at 11.15. Our walk today took us by fields and footpaths to Brimstage and back. It was a bright sunny day, but not quite warm enough for short sleeves because there was a stiff breeze. The Swallows seem to have arrived now: we saw several over the fields, as well as some House Martins and three Swifts. They DO make a summer.
The field edges had great drifts of Cow Parsley. Other wild flowers included Green Alkanet, Comfrey, hybrid Bluebells and one of the Stitchworts, probably Greater. Butterflies seen were Large Whites, Green-veined White, lots of fresh-looking Orange Tips, a Small Tortoiseshell, some Speckled Woods and our first Common Blue of the year. We also saw lots of St Mark’s Flies and a 7-spot Ladybird.
Skylarks were singing, we heard a couple of calling Pheasants and a Chaffinch in the hedgerows. A Buzzard flew in the distance and we saw a Yellowhammer, Lapwings and a Blue Tit. In the courtyard at Brimstage two pairs of Swallows were nesting under the archway.
But the main interest of the day was the progress of the trees. Right on cue, on Mayday, the Hawthorn (May) blossom was out, and so were the Horse Chestnuts.
We remembered the old adage about whether we are in for a wet summer or a dry one. “Ash before Oak, you’re in for a soak. Oak before Ash, only a splash.” I am happy to report that the Ash leaves were just emerging but the Oak was well in leaf, so a dry summer is predicted. We will see if it is true!
We were back at Thornton Hough in time for the 2.45 bus back to Liverpool.