Monday, February 15, 2010

Here comes spring

I know that by saying this I’ll guarantee that I’ll wake up tomorrow to six-foot snow drifts, but yesterday really did feel like spring was right on the brink of exploding into life.

It wasn’t particularly sunny, or warm, but it was milder than it has been for a while, and everywhere I went, birds were in full song. Blackbirds and Song Thrushes in particular, but also the likes of a Nuthatch. One dense plantation of larches I walked past was absolutely alive with Goldcrests. There are fears that they might have suffered badly in the bad weather, but they seemed to be doing well here – stand still for a minute and do a bit of pishing, and six or seven would appear to have a look at you.

Of course, that’s why St Valentine’s Day is on February 14th – it’s when, traditionally, birds were thought to start pairing up for the breeding season. The truth is a bit more complicated than that, as you can discover in Bird Watching magazine soon, but it’s one of those pieces of folk wisdom that is firmly rooted in reality.

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