Spring highlights

Sorry it’s taken me so long to post a new blog post on here but I’m not the most adept computer user and I try to get outside as much as I possibly can, even if it means that my posts are several months late!

After a record-breaking wet winter here in Wales, spring has come in with a whimper.  Some daffodils and primroses were in flower in December, more than two months earlier than usual, but most wild flowers emerged at their expected time. I didn’t see my first queen bumblebee until early March and frogspawn here in the cold hollow of the upper Severn Valley doesn’t appear until late February at the earliest.

Rooks, grey herons and tawny owls are incubating their eggs as I write and this morning on a local Wildlife Trust nature reserve, it was a real pleasure to watch a pair of great crested grebes indulging in one of the most stunning courtship displays nature has to offer.  Something else to look out for in early spring is the colourful scarlet elf cup, a bright red fungus that grows on rotting branches on damp woodland floors.

Over the next few weeks, the leaves will burst forth onto our trees and shrubs, the flowers of lesser celandine and primroses will be replaced by bluebells and wood anemones, most of our common garden birds will be nesting and early migrants such as chiffchaff, wheatear and sand martins will be joined by swallows, pied flycatchers and, hopefully a few cuckoos. Spring is without any doubt my favourite season, an exciting time of rebirth when the whole countryside comes alive.