By Caroline Steel, former Head of Conservation at Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
West Common has kept me sane over the last few weeks and it’s amazing how much there has been to see.
For a week or so last month, two little ringed plovers frequented the temporary pond and yellow wagtails were around too: I saw six one day on the playing field.
The common has now turned a wonderful shade of yellow, a carpet of short bulbous buttercups and tall meadow buttercups, with other flowers beginning to emerge such as the delicate pignut. Around the pond, flag iris is coming out.
The May blossom on the hawthorn bushes seems particularly good this year and Hobblers Hole is looking magnificent.
Back on the common, skylarks are singing and with a bit of luck will raise good sized broods. The house martins are back and can be seen in good numbers: it would be interesting to know whether they’re doing better than last year in the nests on Mitchell Drive and vicinity. Swallows are also around, but I’ve only noticed them on the West End side of the common. Swifts are visible too and it will be interesting to see if they use any of the boxes which have been put up. Records of any nests would be very welcome. I’ve been seeing as many as four buzzards wheeling over the common, and at least one kestrel is regularly hunting.
Other things to look out for are bats: there have already been reports. Does anyone know where the large (most probably noctule) bats which patrol up and down Alderman’s Walk roost? Butterflies are emerging too, and you should be able to see a variety including orange tip, peacock and small tortoiseshell.
The Wildlife Trusts ’30 Days Wild’ begins again on 1 June, providing an opportunity to observe more and share experiences with others. Details are on https://wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild