Page 9 - Issue 68 Online
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                                                              MANEA MATTERS
      Springing to Life


      Spring signals new beginnings and new arrivals.
      Our  Manea  wildlife  cast  is  changing  with  the
      seasons. Whooper Swans, that graced the fields
      and washes through winter, have returned to
      Iceland to breed. They will return in October with   Wall Butterfly (© Bob Eade)
      their next generation. Meanwhile, other birds
      are heading north, such as Swallows, which   As temperatures rise, keep an eye out for
      spend the winter in Africa. Along with their   butterflies. Some hibernate in sheds and
      close relatives, the House Martin, they nest on   outbuildings while others will emerge from their
      buildings and feed on insects over water. Look   cocoon  or  hatch  as  caterpillars  from  eggs  laid
      out for them at Manea Pit.            last year. We are lucky to have one of the rarer
      In hedges and trees - such as at Beart’s Wood -   butterflies not far away by the Ouse Washes
      our resident song birds will be nesting amongst   towards Mepal - the Wall (also known as Wall
      the foliage. Pigeons assemble a messy nest   Brown). These butterflies have orange wings
      of twigs, whereas Long-tailed Tits make an   with intricate brown patterns.
      altogether more elaborate nest of woven moss                    Ajay Tegala

              Swallow Chicks          Long-tailed Tits         Male Blackbird

      and cobwebs, which expands as the chicks grow.  Editor’s Note - check out Ajay’s short film of
      Their nests can be lined with as many as 1,500  Manea and the surrounding area on YouTube:
      feathers!                             White Feathers: My Winter with Wild Swans
      One of my favourite sounds of spring is the song
      of  the  Blackbird.  The  males  sing  their  hearts
      out from perches in various places around the
      village. Their tuneful serenading can be heard in
      many a Manea garden. When you’re out walking,
      please be mindful that birds may be incubating
      eggs or feeding young nearby and will benefit
      from space and peace to go about their parental
      duties.                                           Ajay - in the field

                          DEADLINE for Issue 69 – Friday 21  May 2021   PAGE  9
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