Whilst the stages of the dawn chorus are well known, twilight too is a great time for birdsong: in different corners of the wood, I could hear a range of birdsong, with calls and responses. The trees are not yet in leaf, so the bare outline of the branches provides exquisite sculpture against the last of the light.
The best bit of the whole experience was when the owls started calling, which was when night had almost fallen. From where I sat, I could hear them calling as they flew in a huge circle around the wood: such a beautiful, evocative sound. In traditional folklore, the owl is often seen as the gatekeeper between the worlds of the dark and the light, and this is certainly when their presence is strongest at Hazel Hill.
We go through several phases of spring flowers at Hazel Hill: from the snowdrops, through the primroses and wood anemones, with the climax being huge areas of bluebells, vibrant in colour, and sweetly intoxicating with their scent. The bluebells are at their best in late April and early May: so if you would like to share this and many other woodland delights, join us for the Natural Roots of Resilience weekend, April 24-26.