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Ethan Cutler's spring journey along the River Stour

Posted on: 05/04/2021

Hi, my name is Ethan Cutler, welcome to my blog. Join me on my many journeys along the River Stour, discovering all the wonderful wildlife that lives there.

Spring 2021

It is early April and spring is in the air. It is a magical time of year when new life starts to emerge. On this beautiful sunny morning, as I am making my way along the riverbank, I notice the sights and sounds of spring. I can see delicate blossom petals glistening in the sun and they are being visited by lots of pollinators such as busy bees. I love watching bumblebees as they are such fascinating creatures and enjoy listening to the lazy hum of their intricate wings. I also spotted a pretty red admiral butterfly warming its dainty wings up in the sun, its velvety black wings showcasing its striking colours. I hear the unmistakable song of the male blackbird and I spot this handsome chap with his shiny black plumage and yellow beak sat on a branch above my head, his melodious song signifying that winter is finally over.

I continue my journey along the river when I suddenly spot a Treecreeper climbing up the trunk of a tree, its plumage blending in to match the tree bark. Luckily, I managed to get a great photo of it as it was quite close to me. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I notice another Treecreeper and realised that there were quite a few of them in some of the neighbouring trees as well. They can be easily missed because they are so well camouflaged. Typically, they are slightly bigger than a wren but smaller than a nuthatch. The Treecreeper is also known as the 'tree mouse' because of its ability to scuttle up tree trunks. Their plumage is mottled brown with a silky white underside and a whitish stripe over the eye. They work their way upwards on tree trunks in a spiral motion feeding on insects and spiders that they find in crevices in the bark before flying back down to begin the upward search for food once again.

Moving on from the Treecreepers, I come across a Moorhen wading in the reeds at the water's edge probing for food. It has a bright red bill with a yellow tip at the end (not to be confused with the Coot which has a white bill). Surprisingly, it is a very agile bird, sometimes climbing up into the lower branches of trees. My final bird that I spot is the gorgeous Great Tit, which is a bold and inquisitive bird. Its call sounds like a squeaky bicycle pump. They are one of the UK's largest tits and they are about the same size as a robin. Spring is my favourite time of year, it is the season of change and new beginnings. Colour is popping up everywhere, birds are busy nest building and harmonious birdsong fills the air like an orchestral symphony. I really like going out for walks in the spring because it helps to boost your mood and gives you a positive vibe.

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