Sense of spring

Although it’s summer, some of the wildlife around the farm echo springtime. Delicate baby toads and frogs occupy every footstep of grass around Sheepdrove lake. Hares are socialising peacefully – not showing any spring madness – but leverets still bound about.  Kate and I sat and waited in the middle of a field as one discovered us – and made as composed an escape as it could. We managed to walk right up to a naive young Goldfinch, and watched it hack away at knapweed heads, just one metre away.

For a while I let the nut feeders in my garden run down to empty because I felt that the Great Spotted Woodpecker chicks were becoming too reliant on it, and wanted to encourage a few more hours per day seeking wild food. Today I restarted the nut supply, and other recently fledged birds are learning about the nut feeders now – Coal Tit, Great Tit and Blue Tit being first in line.

Some birds haven’t marked any kind of season’s change – and why would they? House Martin chicks are peeping out of the nests on Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre, neighbours to Woodpigeons brooding eggs and Wrens at Nut Wood are wrapped up in yet another chick feeding frenzy!


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