You know it’s coming, it does every year, but there is still something so exciting about spotting the first signs of spring in the woods.
Today I had an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often: I could potter around the woods just watching and listening, instead of photographing, working or doing exercise classes. And there was a lot to see and listen to.
The seed feeders are alive with birds. It is fascinating to watch the little conveyor belt of great tits and blue tits, and to see just how far they are travelling for their free meal. As well as the more common birds, we also had coal tits, nuthatches, a willow tit, chaffinches, dunnocks, robins and a great spotted woodpecker visiting the seed feeders this morning. The birds are definitely starting to sing out their territory. A blue tit was spotted going in and out of nest box number 13 (of 31). Nesting season is fast approaching.
The ponds show signs of life too: the sedges and yellow flag iris are pressing up new shoots. On the paths and in the glades the first tiny tips of the bluebells are poking through the ground. In our car park area, the naturalised daffodils are making such good progress it is likely they will flower for St David’s Day. In the warmer, quieter parts of the wood, the elder buds have just burst.
It is still winter, of course. It can and probably will still freeze or snow again. We still have an alarming amount of work to be done before spring gets underway. But the signs of spring are there. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there is something so uplifting about the sight and sound of a bird singing his song, and of the first shoots of the bluebells. Uplifting, exciting, and still very slightly surprising!