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Winter In March

After a soft, warm, gentle start to the month of March, the winter has returned.  The birds were starting to pair off and claim their territories when a bitter wind blew up and after strong rain, the snow and sleet began.  Fortunately, it didn’t lie but the cold wind meant that the bird feeders were being queued at for access and even the unpopular round peanut feeder had 3 bluetits hungrily nibbling the peanuts.

By the time I had returned from a short shopping trip we had encountered a large flock of 50 redwings in the fields  along the lane and then perching in an ash tree. There were also a pair of buzzards circling low over the field, quartering the valley in a hunt for prey.  As we parked, there was a female greater spotted woodpecker on the bottom peanut feeder and the sunflower seed feeder was already three quarters empty.  The gold finches had returned as well as blue tits, great tits, green finches, chaffinches, sparrows and robins.  There was also a moorhen down on the grass which has come quite a way from the nearest water to look for food.  Often there are 3 of them and last year my neighbour had a duck nesting in a shrub on their wall.  After 2 weeks there were 12 ducklings being led in a line down to the nearest pond.

Now the sun is out but the wind is still bitter and very strong.  We still have a long way to go before the end of March and the official start of spring.  Sadly, the daffodils which are just coming into flower are being battered by the strong, bitter wind.  March, in like a lion, but hopefully out like a lamb.  Which brings me on to the lambing season, just starting here……