I am convinced now though that better weather is just around the corner...
On Monday evening a short walk with Bunty up towards Hips Heugh to check for Ring Ouzels, did not find the mark, but 6 Wheatears were a bonus, plus 2 adult Brown Hares and 3 leverets in one field. A Roe doe was flushed on the way up.
On Tuesday after work we walked up the coast path to check Cullernose Point for Spring Squill flowering. This went the same way as the Ring Ouzel hunt- none were in bloom. The first Sea Pinks were in flower though and the Kittiwake colony were very much in 'full song'. Another 3 leverets were in the Scar field here, showing that there is a good population around here. More concerning, 9 Swallows headed purposefully south along the cliffs. An omen for forthcoming weather?
Saturday am was bright after sleet and 1 degree at midnight last night.
A Stoat was being hounded by a dozen Jackdaws along the road through the village before it could reach the cover of some ivy. One or two butterflies were in sheltered spots - 2 male Orange Tip and 1 Peacock at the top of the Long Walk and a Small White was in the garden. A Whimbrel was feeding on the rocks in the bay this evening.
On Sunday, the first Whitethroat arrived in the village. JWR and myself headed onto new territory, when we checked out Roddam Dene and Harehope woods. The cold suppressed birds and butterflies, but some flowers were struggling through - Greater Stitchwort, Bluebells, Wood Sorrel, Leopards Bane, Ramsons, Wood Rush, Woodruff, Opposite leaved Golden Saxifrage, Water Avens, Wood Forget-me-not, Violet, Primrose and Red Campion were all noted.
|Roddam Dene and footbridge.|