(April 1993) Nature Notes

Feb 20th. I was lucky today to see a pair of Trout spawning in a small area of gravel in a stream at Temple Mill.

Feb 24th. The apples that we put out when the weather is cold attract a good variety of birds but the Green Woodpecker that came today was a surprise. I had no idea that apples formed part of their diet.

Mar 13th. This glorious weather has brought a great many Yellow Brimstone and a few Peacock butterflies out of hibernation, but I have not seen any Tortoiseshells yet.

Mar 14th. I have never seen such a concentration of Frogs as there is in our garden pond at the moment. There are, by my estimate, over two hundred of them. Two years ago we had a lot of tadpoles so perhaps they are now returning to spawn. When it is quiet and a great many of them are croaking at once the sound merges to become a constant, but pleasant purr. When they are disturbed they dive to crowd the bottom of the pond wherever there is weed cover. There is not a great deal of spawn yet but I expect there will be in due course.

Mar 16th. As well as the male and female Blackcap that I mentioned last month, we also had two Willow Tits feeding at our bird table today.

Mar 18th. In February (filldyke!), often a very dry month, I measured less than a quarter of an inch of rain and March has so far brought only fourteen hundredths of an inch.