Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 1 May 1917

April 30
All weekend, from dawn to dusk, the chiff-chaff throbbed in the trees, its small body jerking with each emphatic note; everywhere in the Delamere woods I heard the cheerful music of the willow wrens, which, a friend told me, reached here in numbers on the night of the 25th-26th, though he heard several at Marbury on Wednesday. Yesterday I heard a cuckoo before I was up, and it was calling at Bowdon on the previous day; the corncrake, which usually arrives about the same time as the cuckoo, was seen at Hatchmere in the middle of the week. It was seen, though not heard, for the grass, though now full of “sweeps,” is still short, and the corncrake prefers to call when it is hidden. Swallows have been joined by house martins – on Thursday a number were seen together on one Cheshire pool for the first time, though odd martins had been noticed earlier in other places. Yesterday the tree pipit was singing as it descended towards its perch, and a beautiful male redstart was in one of the woods, where the anemone is now plentiful and marsh marigolds, are at last appearing. Primroses are out on the banks with other belated spring flowers – veined wood sorrel, moschatel, dog violets, and golden saxifrage. Bumble-bees are stirring the wind-dried leaves as they prospect for future nesting holes, and hive-bees are busy in the garden. Spring has at last asserted itself.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change