Odds and Sods Mid March

I think spring is really starting to move on, during a recent walk down to the River Rhee the usual pair of swans turned up to inspect their usual nest site, hopefully they’ll have another successful year. Lets also hope the dog walkers control their dogs as the fence which has protected them for several years has been removed

Mute Swans

Mute Swans

Nest site

Nest site

 

 

 

 

 

Frog spawn has appeared in the ‘wash basin’ ponds in my garden which is very encouraging. The reason for using the basins is that the fish in the main pond can’t eat the spawn!

Frog Spawn

Frog Spawn

One of the early small fairly common bracket fungi appeared, then disappeared in the frost but has now come back, its a small one only 4 cm across

Oak Curtain Crust ?

 

Walking in the Gloucesters Wood with the dogs, saw a tree creeper and the four dogs behaved themselves which gave the opportunity for this short video of a tree creeper.

Tree Creeper

Tree Creeper

Note the beautifully adapted insect eating beak for getting under the bark, and the tree climbing claws

An interesting point is that a lot of small birds seem to have done well this winter, wrens almost as common as blackbirds, plenty of gold crests, nuthatches and tree creepers, probably the mild winter with insects surviving for food and birds not freezing to death.

Its also interesting to see the number of Song Thrushes, no frozen ground, easy access to worms, full tummies, better survival

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

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More Early Flowers

As a 12 year old one of the first wild flowers I identified was Coltsfoot, I was reminded of this today 21st Feb 2016 when I found some very early ones, normally they flower early spring, April, but mid February !!

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I also saw plenty of Celandine around, again earlyish as its normally later than the end of Feb

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Amongst the hedgerow plants a very early Hazel breaking into leaf

Hazel buds breaking inti leaf

Hazel buds breaking inti leaf