A day out in Finemere Wood with my band of volunteers is always a highlight of my week. Even more so at this time of year, as the wood dramatically bursts into life.
The bluebells, once again, were breathtakingly beautiful. This, together with a spectacular array of greater stitchwort, has created a floral sensation in the wood this past month. The ultimate delight has been the arrival of the cuckoo, once again returning to Finemere to breed.
But there are still tasks to be done, paths to be cleared and grassy areas to be cut, as we battle to keep the wood accessible. Brushcutters and rakes are out in force, and scythes are available for those who wish to play at Poldark.
Each volunteer finds their niche, and effortlessly and efficiently the work gets done.
The volume and diversity of birdsong in the wood is astonishing. In amongst the throng, the songs of two members of the warbler family can be heard.
The blackcap (Sylvia artricapilla) is greyish in colour; the male with a distinctive black cap (pictured at the top of the page) and the female with a chestnut cap. And the garden warbler (Sylvia borin) is plain and greyish with no distinctive markings.