Display FlightsWild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday 2nd May 1999
ST MARK'S-FLIES, Bibio marci, gather in their dangling dance groups in sunny sheltered gaps in the hawthorn hedges. The males perform their up-and-down flights around St Mark's Day, 25th April. The young stages live in the soil or amongst rotting vegetation.
Hawthorn blossom is beginning to appear, in a week or two some hedges will be covered with it.
A Whitethroat makes short song flights over scrubby land by the canal, landing on a low thorn bush, then on a wire. Another sings from a hawthorn on the opposite bank. The song is bright, brittle and scratchy, its rhythm like a handful of marbles rolling down a staircase.
I take another look at a shrub I'd seen in blossom a month or so ago on Millbank. Its leaves have veins which curve towards the leaf's tip, so I reckon it is Dogwood. When the leaves turn red in autumn it has clusters of black berries.