A special day marking the midway between the Spring equinox and the summer solstice. It was probably the Gaelic May Day festival where early Irish literature tells us that cattle were led to their summer grazing areas decorated with flowers, and possibly between a series of bonfires for spiritual protection. Who knows? We can learn more and perhaps celebrate this in a choice of ways.
I’ll be running an evening event with a countryside ramble and ending with a bonfire and a steak in a bun with some foraged accompaniments! All for £40 per person!
Location: Haslemere, Surrey
Date: May 1st
Time: 7pm – 10pm
What a fantastic day, lovely birds and lovely birdsong, beautiful carpets of blue, white and yellow flowers and a bit of sheep husbandry thrown in for good measure!
Not just a bird walk at all: timber extraction, coppicing, badger setts and arable farming went alongside 21 species of bird recorded!
With his acute hearing, he is often able to identify a bird before it is seen – as with the crossbills that flew overhead.
It was a joy and a relief for 25 members to hear the birds of Frillinghurst and Grayswood giving their spring songs and calls on 13th April.
Haslemere Natural History Society
We resisted Jon’s invitation to sample the yellow crab apples strewn over the path – he warned that they were the sharpest he had ever tasted.
Jon passed on words of wisdom at the start “birds are put off more by wind than rain”, “humans hear more when ears are cupped”, “a group leader is more likely to share his sweets with a quiet group!” Fruitful words: the calls/songs of 19 species were identified.
May Dawn Watch
Jon’s walk led from clay in the valley with mature woodland, past traditional pasture with ponds, towards sandier soils with coppiced chestnut. What a variety!
Great to see you last night and thanks for the pheasant prep lesson, I really enjoyed it: you are a good teacher.
CMWild Food evening
I just wanted to thank you so much for being such a total star with xxxxxx this afternoon. Both he and xxxxxx were blown away by the whole experience, especially your bothering to talk them through it so personally. God knows if it will have any permanent effect on him, but we really, really appreciate the trouble you took.
It was great to learn so much from you about the birds and environment. Thank you especially for introducing me to Stonechats. I have now looked them up and was pleased to find out they were behaving exactly as they are supposed to!
Thank you for your patience and helpfulness all the way through the assessment process.