The second of my blogs, the next one will be from Portugal, not to make you jealous of course, but maybe to tempt you to join me next time on an european adventure, you never know if enough sign up I may be looking for a certified chaffeuse.
There is Spring in the air at last, after that initial strange week of summery period in Februaury and then damp, wet and windy weather that followed.
On our daily walk I have seen lots plants coming out in beautiful verdant green and looking closely quite a few early flowers , the lovely Dog violet is out in force Primroses, Daffodils, Lesser celandines and the banks are starting to sprout Greater stitchwort flowers which will be with us throughout the spring and summer as well as Dandelions with their bright yellow flowers providing nectar to more and more insects.
I have seen several species of bee , as well of course as our own honey bees. A friend sent me a picture of a bee to identify and as it happens it was a Mason Bee ( Red or Red tailed I think from the photo ), the day after I was watching one using the holes in the sills of our window. Most species of Mason bee overwinter as non emerged adults in their nest chamber and males emerge before females.
The birdsong is getting louder daily, woodpeckers are still calling and I have seen or heard the wonderful Black woodpecker almost on a daily basis. Migrants have begun to arrive and it won't be long until the first Swallow is swooping through our skies. This last week Rafa and I have heard the Chiffchaffs singing, the Redwings are gathering, although not in such great numbers as most years, before heading North on their migration in the next couple of weeks. I have been watching Crested tits in the woodland who were searching for insects amongst the moss claden tree boughs. Gangs of Long tailed tits, very noisy Blue and Great tits and the attractive delicate Marsh tits ( Picture attached ). Song thrushes are dominating the airwaves from their lofty perches in the tree tops and generally they are heralding the coming spring.
So lots of things to look forward to with species arriving and some departing and I was very pleased to see this morning two lots of Otter spraint on different marking points on our river.
So I will finish there and continue on my return from Portugal with Rafa's walks. In the meantime enjoy your time outdoors, take a 10 minute break from your walks in the wood or wherever you are and just listen and observe all of the wonderful natural world that surrounds you, MAGICAL !!