Spring is in the air

North Devon Gazette

I don't know about you but to me it seems it's been a long winter ? The first day of spring has sprung and although the rain has been here on and off it's been rather pleasant. As I walk down the winding lanes near where I live in the heart of mid Devon I've started to notice that everything is waking up from it's winter slumber, tree blossom bursting out of the buds that have protected them from the frosts, catkins gently swaying in the breeze. Navel wart growing across the banks, lush and green. Wildlife is truly coming alive. Â

March means a new season which also brings a new moon on the 18th, if you are very lucky you may even get to see the hares chasing each other round in circles and the odd boxing match. Black birds and robins begin to nest build in hope of a brood or two. I sit looking out of my kitchen window at the birds enjoying a smorgasbord of delights put out every morning for them. The first visitors are the jackdaws, pushing and shoving each other off the feeders as they are far too big for the perch. Then along come the bluetits who are always in a hurry to get fed and get moving. The great tits and the odd coal tit feed when there is room. The ones that rule the roost in my garden though are the House sparrows. They swoop in from hiding in the hydrangea, take over the peanut feeders and then swoop back in their gang. It's not warm enough yet for the woodpeckers, they arrive late spring at my feeding tables.Â

I consider myself extremely lucky to have such an assortment of birds visit my garden, we have an old rusted bbq that was due to go to the tip a couple of years ago but it still remains next to the honeysuckle and nettles as the wren we have that visits us each year uses this as one of up to 12 choices for his chosen mate for her to choose which one to lay in. We clean it out in the winter ready for him to arrive in spring.

I've had a passion for wildlife since as far back as I can remember. The first pets of my own were the garden snails kept in a margarine tub with a few leaves and some grass, needless to say they had to be kept outside and yes they slid away. I love walking and watching nature, sitting quietly under a tree listening to the squirrels barking at one another over who's tree it really is, watching the kingfishers darting in and out of the water as I stroll along the local canal. So here's to a great year ahead of wildlife and walking and a few more stories of what I've seen whilst out and about.Â