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