First Day of Spring
Sunday, March 20th 2016
The Met Office first day of spring was 1st March. The equinox was today, 20th March, so spring is definitely here. There was blue sky, no wind, sun and some warmth at Foxglove this morning. Really springlike. Down at Signy Island Stacey reported that it was not spring like! They have nine days to close down the station and then begin the long journey north, to spring.
Some of the bird ringers were net mending, ensuring that the nets are ready for the start of CES (Constant Effort Site) in May. CES means very early mornings, having to be there for dawn. We have a few weeks to get used to an early start, as so far this year we have been able to have a lie in.
There were many visitors enjoying the sunshine. The Royal Lancers Welfare team organised an Easter Egg hunt for the children which was great fun.
An apology. Yesterday the blog said that the Frogs had finished croaking and spawning. They obviously did not read the blog as they were croaking merrily through the Scrapes for most of the day. Some were a little shy. You may have to search for the Frog in this photo.
The Toads were also calling their high pitched sort of croak. You can see the large hind legs that are used to propel him through the water and also fight off other males when courting the females. Most of the Toads seen today were males, calling the females to the ponds.
Keeping the camera to hand whilst out and about caught this Greylag Goose on Plovers Pool, whilst another five were taking it easy on the moor.
Knowing 'our patch' which is Foxglove, we memorise where to look for certain flowers, although we do look rather early, probably from the end of January, ever hopeful. Today there were flowers where they always are. On entering the reserve to your right, down the fence line, is a large willow tree and it is always the first to be in full bloom. Taking photographs against the blue sky, buzzing could be heard and there was a bee collecting pollen.
The hive bees were active and some were returning with very large pollen sacs.
We have been told that Lesser Celandine has been in flower for several weeks around the area, but not a one at FGC until today and three were seen, the first on the moor as usual.
Coltsfoot was not open on Wednesday in the back garden, but it was today.
The usual Larch tree that is easy to reach for photographs did not let us down and is in full flower with male flowers, slightly brown/green coloured and red female flowers.
Risedale Beck bridge rails usually have their own collection of invertebrates but only one Seven Spot Ladybird was found today.
Wildlife is responding to the lengthening days and warm sunshine. When will the first toadspawn be sighted? When will the first butterfly make it onto the observation board?
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