Well Spring has really 'sprung' ... this week anyway.
Yesterday (23rd), the temperature rose to c18 degrees and it was just like a summers day. The warm weather has tempted out our first butterflies of the year. We spotted 8 small tortoiseshell, 3 peacock, 4 male brimstone and a single female (distinctive by its cream rather than bright citrus yellow colouring).
The reserve is looking good for this time of year and new lush growth is strong with cowslips showing their buds already. The trees are begining to change colour as the buds start to burst. New leaves on some willows are already bright green and the sallow catkins are a sure sign of spring. It won't be too long before our blackthorn is in blossom; hawthorn buds are beginning to burst.
We counted 20 or so frogs last week in the pool margins and on inspection found significant amounts of spawn. Even yesterday they were still very vocal and I expect to find more spawn in the next few days.
There were a few chiffchaff singing today and we had common snipe still around last week. Our resident kingfisher has not been seen since early January so who knows what has happened to him. I hope he is okay after the harsh weather. Our little grebes mate has arrived and they are now calling each other on a regular basis.
Our hedge work is complete and is looking good. All we need to do is watch to see how it develops over this summer.
So, who got the last quiz question right? Well done Roger! It was of course a hazel catkin. I said it was easy. Have a look at this one and see if you can identify it. A clue is that it won't be around just yet but I am expecting it soon.
Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor