Display Flights

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday 2nd May 1999

Thornhill Hall farm St Mark's-fly 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 Hawthorn blossom is beginning to appear, in a week or two some hedges will be covered with it.

whitethroat display flight 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.

dogwood 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.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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