I did my weekly patrol of the Dells along the Water of Leith today. There wasn't much litter to pick and nature was at her best, so it was a particularly good patrol!
The bird cherry tree is now in full bloom
Bird cherries can be recognised by their smaller flowers that are gathered together
They are very well named as birds love them, most times I pass this particular bird cherry, it is full of birds. (Not today though, oddly enough!). Many other cherry trees in the Dells are also in bloom
Meanwhile the larch flowers continue their development, they're not quite cones yet
Lesser Celandines have been in flower for several weeks now, but are still going strong. I'm sure they have spread through the Dells in the time I've been doing these patrols (about 15 years I think!).
I also noticed that the wood sorrel is starting to flower
This pretty little flower is a real indicator of ancient woodland and the Dells have been wooded for centuries (although partly cleared in places to make way for mills, many of which are now totally in ruins and back to woodland).
I heard my first willow warbler of the year today, in Colinton Dell, where I've never heard it before (though I have occasionally heard them in Craiglockart Dell). Another first, was seeing a dark edged bee fly, which I've never seen in the Dells before and only occasionally have seen anywhere. The photo below isn't the fly I saw in the Dells (which moved too quickly for a photo) but one Crafty Green Boyfriend took in a local cemetery the other day.
These lovely looking flies lay their eggs in bees' nests!
I was also delighted to see a roe deer in the Dells, though it was moving too quickly for a photo (I have a horrible feeling that a dog was chasing it). I also caught sight of a chiffchaff carrying food to its nest low in the undergrowth, I hope the nestlings are safe from marauding dogs. Now, I like dogs, but owners need to be very aware of how their dogs are behaving when out in nature, especially this time of year when ground nesting birds are so vulnerable.