The bluebells of Brigsteer Park Wood were our objective, but our morning gave more. Wood anemone and bluebells flowered and I hoped for Herb Paris, Paris quadrifolia- and tried to remember its flowering season. Looking into About Scout Scar, my photograph is dated 28 April 2007, Herb Paris with bugle. The flower is an indicator of ancient woodland, found in coppiced glades, so as hazel and scrub regenerate the plant is hidden- until the next coppicing when it's drawn by the light.
Through Brigsteer Park Wood, across the catchwater, to the reed beds and the bird hide overlooking open water. We heard the plaintive call of lapwing, a small flock tumbling above the water and a pasture of sheep. Coot and moorhen, and hirundines which I think were sand martin. Then a marsh harrier flew close and low and disappeared into the reeds directly before us. I spied the distinctive tail of a red kite and we followed its flight over the water. So did a pair of lapwing and we watched them buzzing the larger bird, trying to see it off. The first time I've seen red kite in the Lyth Valley.
Ramsons, Wild garlic with starry flowers. The hedgerow along the narrow road to the wood was thick with ramsons- leaves only on the north-facing aspect, flowers facing south.
Stitchwort in a hedgerow.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)