Sunday, 15 March 2015

Spring has Sprung

In the past 7-8 days spring really seems to be upon us. Last week I commented on my swan surveys and how they seemed to be forming pairs well this week other signs of spring have become evident.

Last saturday I saw my first Bumblebee of the year and few days later the first butterfly, it was a fleeting glimpse and so I couldn't get an accurate ID. Its underwings were very black and I suspect it was a Small Tortoiseshell that had emerged from hibernation.

On Sunday I was accompanied to my patch by a very important guest, my 3 year old niece and my sister. My niece was nearly as well prepared as me. She brandished a small net in one hand and a pair of binoculars in the other, binoculars I must add that she spent most of the time using to look at the ground. It was she who found the first flowering Celandine of the season.


During the week the school pond had been visited by an amorous pair of frogs and much to the delight of the students had laid a mass of frogspawn in the newly enlarged and deepened pond.
Frogspawn is one of the quintessential signs of spring and this year the BBC Wildlife is supporting the Big Spawn Count run by the Freshwater Habitats Trust. You can get involved by keeping an eye out for frogspawn and recording them at: http://www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/big-spawn-count/ This sorts of citizen science project rely on your help and provide valuable information to researchers. Another good phenology site is the one provided by the Woodland Trust at: http://www.naturescalendar.org.uk/

Lastly to bring my spring sightings to a close today whilst on my patch I watched as the Jackdaws took up position in the Old Hollow Alder Nesting tree they have used for years and the basal rosettes of Comfrey just beginning to emerge and the arrival of a Chiffchaff and Skylark.
Jackdaw Nest Tree

First Marsh Marigolds in Flower

Comfrey starting to come up