Nature Report – W/e 30th March 2014

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at one I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. – William Wordsworth

It’s officially Spring time.

Weather

Mostly dry.  One heavy frost on the Monday but rest of the week cloudy with occasional light showers.  Temperatures have been above 10 degrees, peaking at 16 degrees on the Sunday although it was still overcast.

Now the clocks have gone forward it has meant dark early mornings for the time being but oh so nice to have a longer evening to enjoy time outside after work.

Habitats

A lot of time has been spent in the garden and a walk to the Bradley Woods yesterday, as well, to make the most of the weather.  I also discovered a slightly different way to get to the woods, using the same field but from a different route.

Birds

I was almost convinced that I’d seen a chaffinch darting from the garden bird feeder the other day.  His brightly coloured chest and grey cap are usually easy to spot but the bird moved that quick I couldn’t be 100% sure.  I keep looking to see if he comes back.  It would certainly be nice to have a new visitor.

The blackbirds are extremely busy defending territories across the gardens now and I do believe one pair are nesting in the front garden hedge.

Plenty of great and blue tits in the garden, as well as the usual ring neck doves and two pairs of wood pigeons.

I love listening to the sound of all the birds that has really increased since both the weather and light picked up.  Even now, I can hear a blackbird singing it’s beautiful song.

Out on my walks I’ve spotted various rooks and crows, mallards, dunnocks and I could distinctly hear a wood pecker yesterday in the woods.  I stood for ages trying to track it down to see what type it could have been but all I could was the hole it may have made in a tree, high up on the bark of a conifer.  I was just annoyed I couldn’t spot it, but the noise was unmistakable.

I’m feel more confidant than ever identifying some birds by their calls and song alone.  For instance I heard a lot of dunnocks this week but no sky larks unfortunately.  I also heard a pheasant in the middle of the Woods somewhere.

The RSPB website it a great resource for checking any bird calls I’m not sure about.

Trees and flowers

The garden, the fields, the woods are all beginning to come alive now.  I love the fact that all the perennials are slowly poking their heads up through the soil.  The rosemary busy in the garden is in full bloom which is attracting a lot of interest from bees.

Some of the the flowering bulbs, in the garden, are also attracting insects.  Strangely enough the daffodils which are the brightest colour by far in the garden at the moment don’t seem to be getting all that much attention by any pollinators.  So I’m wondering if actually they are any good as a wildlife aid?  In comparison the anemones get lots of attention.

At the woods I spotted wild primroses which I was pleased to have seen.  They have such a calm yellow to them.  Also spotted were the masses of wood anemones that are either in flower or about to ratchet it up with their blooms.  Again, such delicate flowers but they sure do pack a punch when you seem them on the floor of the woods, like a mass carpet.

Mammals

No mammals spotted again.  I’m not sure it’s entirely possibly to spot much mammal activity unless I was out at night.   When it comes to mammals I think I need to pay special attention in being where they are, when they are there and be prepared to sit for a while!  In the meantime I’ll be contented watching my little grey squirrel.

I’m still on with my challenge to get hedgehogs back into the garden.  I haven’t seen a hedgehog for years and yet as I child I was always spotting them.  I think the only difference between then and now is the fact that most gardens are surrounded by thick, high walls, fences or others man made defences which hedgehogs just can’t penetrate so end up walking around them (which usually ends up by them getting squashed by cars in the process).

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7 responses to “Nature Report – W/e 30th March 2014

  1. Snap! I had Wordsworth on my mind today. Spring really is here now. I was woken up by the dawn chorus today.
    I haven’t seen a hedgehog for years either, not even squashed on the road.

  2. Hey Sophie … we seem to be devoid of some of our native birds lately. My hubby swears it is because of the magpies – who just happen to be very territorial and not native. As for the hedgehogs, we are so lucky to have the little guys about .. lovely little critters. Must be so nice having the garden wake up after winter!

    • You are very lucky having the hedgehogs – what’s your secret?
      Magpies are very territorial which has reminded me about something – my garden is much more full of sing birds than it used to be and I haven’t spotted a magpie nearby this year, where as in previous yrs there has been. I think your hubby maybe onto something there! 🙂

    • Woodchucks, what a great word that is! I confess I had to Google them as I wasn’t quite sure what they looked like. They look massive! Do they do much damage around properties at all?

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