Spring arrives, singing.

Glorious Easter weather brings the summer migrant birds and hibernating insects out into the sunshine in the Sheskinmore area.

swallow, Slieve Tooey background.

swallow, Slieve Tooey background.

A walk through the machaire  has the startled larks singing high overhead. The swallows are flying over the dune slacks and the wheatears are flying from perch to perch on the gorse, declaring themselves here for the summer. The winter storms have revealed a new midden layer on the seaward face of the Ballinreavy dunes, showing charred earth, animal bones, oyster, mussel and limpet shells.

mussel, oyster, charred earth, Ballinreavy.

mussel, oyster, charred earth, Ballinreavy.

These midden layers show the camping sites of coastal dwellers centuries, or even millenia, ago. The mussel shells poke up like giant toenails from the dune face.They show the changes in the dune system described by Frank Mitchell, in his re-working of Praegar’s Way That I Went, as fossilized.

On nearby Dawros Head newly out of hibernation butterflies stayed nectaring on dandelion  long enough for me to get a few pictures.

peacock butterfly

peacock butterfly

The peacock looks very fresh, but the tortoiseshell is a bit more worn, reflecting the different conditions they were in when they went into hibernation.

small tortoiseshell

small tortoiseshell

A walk on dawros is never complete without startling a hare or two. This one is very bold, sitting stock still on the wee Dawros road, ears pricked, alert for danger. It shows its arctic ancestors through its white underparts.

Startled, it runs away into the distance, kicking up its strong hind quarters, still winter white.

The primroses are just beginning their show, they look best on the track on the Kiltoorish entrance to the reserve. Common Dog Violet, Viola Riviniana, are everywhere, one of two or three species of viola in the dunes.

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2 thoughts on “Spring arrives, singing.

  1. Lovely photographs Michael. On the 14th April I saw my first swallows and wheatear of the year at Sheskinmore. On the same day the Greenland White fronted geese were basking in the sunshine. The brief meeting of the seasonal birds. If only they could exchange their travel tales.

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