April wildlife in New Mills
With travel restricted, walks locally have given me the chance to become better aquainted with wildlife within a short distance from home.
A few birds, some common, others less so. Canada geese (Branta canadensis) can be seen in most places with water in New Mills, such as the Peak Forest canal and the Goyt Valley. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus), although a familiar bird, has declined in the UK, numbers falling to nearly half of mid '70's population. The goosander (Mergus merganser) is a fishing duck, having a long, sawlike bill.
A few insects. The orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) is a colourful spring butterfly, the male very easy to recognise. The German wasp (Vespula germanica) is one of the commonest UK species. The last pictures are of a hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax).
A few insects seen on plants. Sometimes these are obvious, such as the orange tip butterfly on the cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis), other insects I only see when I view the photographs on a large screen at home, such as the fly on the cuckoo flower, or the aphid on the pink purslane (Claytonia sibirica).
Spring sees the start of insect pollination, such as these honeybees (Apis mellifera) on cherry blossom (Prunus sp.).
As well as honeybees, the blossom was also being visited by common carder bees (Bombus pascuorum)
And to finish, a few plants. The cowslip (Primula veris) is a spring flower, becoming rarer due to loss its natural habitats. The cones are the fertile stems of great horsetail (Equisetum telmateia) which appear in spring before the larger, sterile stems. The last picture shows the female (lower) and male (upper) spikes of bottle sedge (Carex rostrata).