Compared to last year, the weather was kinder to us this winter. In fact the weather men have been telling us it has been one of the sunniest winters for many years! As usual the water level in the pond rose and flooded the path behind it, but it wasn’t as bad as last year and by mid-February the water levels were starting to recede again.
Happily, by late January the winter aconites were flowering, the snowdrops were blooming and you could just make out the bluebells forcing their green shoots into the sunshine. A spell of mild temperatures brought out our first butterfly and bees in early February and our weasel has been spotted several times, scampering a cross the paths close to the study centre. An unusual visitor has been seen around the bird-feeding area – a moorhen! It’s been seen there many times, stalking out from the undergrowth to pi ck up seed and other birdfood from the ground, but the regular band of great tits, blue ti ts and chaffinches don’t seem to mind. We’re also seeing sparrowhawks, peregrines and several buzzards flying overhead quite often. Are we going to be lucky enough to have birds of prey breeding on the reserve again this year?