Making the most of the weather…

 

A winter sun-lit Ivy Lake

A winter sun-lit Ivy Lake

Until about 30 minutes ago today had been absolutely glorious – sunny, warm, calm; perfect! Now however it has gone awfully dark, the wind is gusting heavily and it is raining hard! There is a glimmer of light coming through so I am hoping it clears long enough for me to lock up, but it is not looking great for tomorrow and as such we have taken the precaution of cancelling the “Blashford Birds” guided walk which had been planned for tomorrow morning.

Making the most of the weather today though were a lot of visitors, all of whom seemed to leave happy with what they had seen during their time here – the car parks were busy all day with great white egret, red crested pochard (still on Rockford Lake) and mealy red poll all reported at different times. No sightings of bittern or otters though!

Scarlet elf cup

Scarlet elf cup

The scarlet elf cup are beginning to put on a show adding a lovely splash of colour to the woodland floor where they are growing amongst the moss and leaf litter from wet, rotting logs. Most of the snow drops by the centre are now in flower, whilst by the Woodland Hide the wild daffodil shoots are beginning to stand out quite tall.

I led the “Come into roost” event last night which went okay despite the very grey, misty and overcast conditions which made bird watching a bit of a challenge  and detracted from the spectacle some what. One of the highlights though was the occasional  “head-throwing” display from a few of the more feisty goldeneye drakes.

With the relatively warm weather and all these other signs of spring to come I perhaps shouldn’t be as surprised as I was to see this willow coming into leaf near the centre; it and a lot of other wildlife, is going to have a bit of a shock if this long wet autumn ever ends and we get a blast of winter!

Willow coming into leaf

Willow coming into leaf

I’m off to lock up the hides now. Incidentally I missed my “brighter weather” window of opportunity.

Never mind, waterproofs on – again!

 

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