Spring: there are some signs out there, good and bad?

Is spring finally here?  The sun was out such to tempt me away from the campaign computer and out into the field, such an exercise is always a good reminder as to why the Forum does what it does.

Headed for Hatfield Moors via the peat processing factory on Stainforth Moor, with skylarks singing high and lesser celandines in flower on drain sides it was good to be out.  Interesting to note the water levels in the peripheral drains are low and exposing ocherous coloured sludge and discloured vegetation debris, not something I can recall seeing at this intensity.

130407 Sandtoft Road east P1020321


Green Tiger beetles and Orange Underwings were about in moderate numbers as the sun warmed the ground.  Coltsfoot too in great swathes on areas where limestone or ‘ballast’ were present.  A Roe buck with his does also crossed my path quite oblivious to my observation.

As I cycled the familiar route it was sad to note the agri-intensification of land around Ten Acre Lake and the loss of some substantive alders further along Whitebridge. Drains too had been re-dug and oak trees ‘pruned’ to accommodate large machinery, their roots had been cut but none of this is new these days as sadly it is a regular occurence in our countryside now.

130407 Whitebridge new cut P1020326


Despite these observations I still enjoyed the afternoon and even managed a respectable tally of around thirty bird species, the star being a Short-eared Owl pushed skywards by interaction with a Marsh Harrier.  The Little Ringed Plover on wet pasture was also a sign of spring perhaps?  These birds clearly benefiting from areas not under intensive agriculture but little oasis amidst it.

With apologies for those expecting macro shots of invertebrates or of botanical interest or stunning bird images ….


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