OK, so the weather is warmer, the hint of Blackthorn flower to be glimpsed last week has erupted into a frothy, white mass and the Chiffchaffs can be heard regularly – Spring is definitely here. So, what else has been happening out and about this week?
To start with, in my garden the Clematis Armandii is flowering away on the bottom fence, and, every now and again giving a hint of scent. The Primroses and Hellebores are still looking great, and, the Pulmonaria is in full flower and attracting bumblebees. The early tulips have now gone over, but the others are starting to show flower buds.Trees are now starting to show hints of lime green colour, such as this Maple / Sycamore that I pass on my way to work.
There are more flowers out for the aforementioned bumblebees, and, ergo, more bumblebees; mainly queens foraging before setting up home – such as this one that I took a picture of whilst it was a little dazed having for some reason flown into a lampost! On the flower front, the Celandines are particularly noticeable on sunny roadsides, as is the purple flower ground ivy. There are also some wild violets flowering in places.
There are also more butterflies about, initially I had only seen Brimstones, but today I saw my first Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies. I think it will not be long before the Speckled Woods are roaming up and down the old Railway Track.
On a distinctly Wintery note though, I had a Redpoll in the garden this week for the first time ever. This is a bird I associate with Winter, and one that I have only seen in the Country Park before now (and then only once). Very strange, it must have been passing through. I have no idea whether it is a Lesser Redpoll or a Mealy Redpoll, however, I don’t care either.