19 April 2013

What a difference a little ray of sunshine makes!

Last weekend was warm - temperatures of 16+ and sunny too.  And spring arrived in all its glory, the daffodils are open, but looking a little odd against the last of the snowdrops and aconites, celandines are popping up in the hedge bottoms and the leaves of the lords and ladies are unfurling rapidly, even the hawthorn buds are swelling and the horse chestnut sticky buds look like their sticky cases will drop any day now.  The first butterfly, a small peacock (no, not a new species, just a smaller than usual individual) was fluttering around on Saturday as I was finishing off the winter pruning and a lovely little bumblebee was bumbling around the herb bed and by Monday lunchtime the now open daffodils were buzzing with them.
Tete-a-tete daffodils, coryadalis and a bumblebee
It was on Monday evening that a female sparrowhawk almost took my head off!  Office dog Hebe and I were returning home from our usual walk and out of a hedge, not two feet away from my head, exploded the hawk with a gang of angry house sparrows in voluble hot pursuit, she banked and gave me the full view of her back about 6 inches away from my nose before disappearing at high speed down the valley.  Whilst standing there taking in the scene I became aware of a familiar chittering in the sky above and there were my first two swallows of 2013, this morning there were half a dozen or more hawking across the field at high speed.  But spring firsts don't end there, on Tuesday I heard the first chiffchaff calling and on Wednesday a small green warbler was trying to get into the office window - it didn't sit still long enough to get a proper look so ID remains a "little green job".

Our tawnies have been beginning to burble during the day, especially when it's sunny, they must be being woken as the trees are still bare and the sun can be quite fierce.  One evening I was disturbed by a "qwick" from almost directly outside the window, carefully drawing back the curtain I scanned the dusk and there in the big ash tree were two owls, obviously a pair; Mr was preening the back and neck of Mrs who was enjoying the attention and pushed her head closer until the two silhouettes merged into one.  Eventually a noise caught Mr's attention and he shuffled down the branch head bobbing trying to get a fix before dropping out of the tree to swoop away over the roof tops.  Mrs sat a while longer, perhaps waiting for her mate to return with a gift, when none was forthcoming she too dropped out of the tree to swoop right past the window down the side of the house.

Good news from Green End, the rejected lamb, now named Rosie, is moving down to a pen at AWs small holding after daddy finally gave in following much pestering.  Granny says she'll be lonely so they have to have two!

Despite the glorious weather the CJS Team have been very good and stayed (mostly) at their computers in the office and the latest Weekly edition is now printing, digital editions are also on their way.  This week there are 13 pages with 56 adverts, 12 of them being for voluntary posts.

And on our other blog this week I give way to my inner geek and have a muse about IT.  Read it here.