Saturday, 16 February 2013

February Gold

Early Daffs (c.OOS)
The month of February has been very wet so far, but it is really spring like at times..Two bright and sunny days in a row,temperatures up to 11 or 12 degrees.

Best of all, that extra light now perceptible at the beginning and end of the working day.   The birds and plants have responded of course.   There isn't  a huge volume of flowering plants, or singing birds.  However those that choose to perform get our undivided attention and admiration.. So a clump or two of early Daffodils are truly memorable, the first of many varieties to show.  Elsewhere Flowering Quince has some fruit remaining  and is showing bright red early flowers.

Flowering Quince (c. OOS)

Bird Song is beginning to gather momentum.  The call to song is dominated by Song Thrushes: though normally solitary and not at all showy, once the song is delivered ( for two or three weeks now) they dominate the early spring season with their clear, far crying notes, aptly described by Browning:

"That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!"

It is this repetition of clear notes and phrases that demands attention.  The strengthening spring chorus has support from Chaffinches and Robins, Dunnocks, Great and Coal Tits and Goldcrests.. it is amazing how many more birds you actually record around the garden once the sound is turned on!

Song Thrush (c. Dave Dillon)

As spring progresses we still have a few stalwarts to look forward to: Blackbirds singing a meandering, meditative and mellow song, along with a burst of Cherry and Pear blossom, Blackcaps in a hurry with the first of the spring warblers, all just a few weeks away now..

Song Thrush (c. John Fox)

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