Spring Snow!

Tuesday, April 26th 2016

Like every Tuesday it was a volunteer’s day. Folk come from the surrounding area to spend a few hours with us doing jobs, which by myself would take me a week! Thankfully we have some hard working and hardy folk that come back rain or shine. This was particularly good today because we had rain, sunshine, sleet and snow.

The first job was to clear around the bullet catcher; this is an old army shooting range which now is our out of sight storage. Bullet cases are quite often excavated by rabbits whilst digging their warrens. It had needed a good sorting for some time and now with ‘all hands’ we finally completed the task.

 


The next job was some old tree felling which had been missed recently; at this point the sun shone, and the cold northerly wind was sheltered by the trees.


After lunch we restocked the bird feeders, especially as the Lesser Redpolls are still about in reasonable numbers and may even nest here, time will tell. A few other little jobs were cleared away with the team thrown back into winter as snow, hail, and sleet fell.

 Before going home I walked around the lake watching a beautiful Grey Wagtail by the dam.


A Dabchick (Little Grebe), although smaller, chased off a Moorhen.

I spotted these two water birds with their very different styles of feeding; the Dabchick diving for insects, larvae and small fish, and the Moorhen dabbling on the surface with the additional diet of weeds and seeds. That is not to say the Moorhen will not dive, they do so to escape predators.


I took this photo of a Dog Violet to confirm that it was Spring.

On the dark wood-stained wall of the lake hide a few insects rested out of the cold wind gaining the warmth of the afternoon sun. This little chap below is one of the Gall Midges, they are only about 5mm in body length, with very long forelegs. The larvae cause galls in various plants such as Germander Speedwell.

Thank you again to all the hardy volunteers who braved the unseasonal weather.
 


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