Lockdown diary: #ReasonsToBeCheerful in #WildWivenhoe – late May

Still the COVID-19 lockdown continues. And so it should for some time yet with infection and death rates still so high. It may be inconvenient. It may be frustrating, but it is necessary. And it gives time to explore one’s local patch….

A further compilation of tweets and reflections, as Springs turns to Summer, in #WildWivenhoe, highlighting our #NaturalHealthService.

May 18

May 19

May 20

May 20

May 22

May 23

May 24

May 25

May 26

May 27

Of course, with hindsight and after clearing ‘Lockdown brain’ I realised this is actually Knotted Hedge-parsley, not dissimilar to Bur Chervil, but with even wackier fruit, lower-growing, similarly a plant of sandy grassland, and even scarcer locally …

May 28

May 29

May 30

May 31

And so another months of lockdown draws to a close. Spring has been and gone. Yesterday late evening, the Swift numbers finally rose to something like their normal early season maximum of 30 outside the flat, from 10-12 the day before. 

Another reflection must be regarding our House Sparrows. Here in the Shipyard, the number of House Sparrows has shot up since lockdown started, from almost absent mid-March (as has been the case for the past ten years) to ever present, noisy and breeding furiously. Perhaps the estate has only just matured as breeding habitat? Or just possibly the (sadly) late Dennis Summers-Smith’s theory about toxicity of anti-knock additives in unleaded petrol is right.  Fewer car movements > less release of those agents > more invertebrates > more sparrows, although it does feel like an unexpectedly/unfeasibly rapid response… His theory arose from the spatial and temporal coincidence between the  the 20th Century declines of House Sparrow and the introduction of unleaded fuel. Perhaps lockdown gives some unintentional experimental evidence?