Silent Spring

Yesterday was officially the first day of spring and this year we seem to be having a 'proper' winter/spring; where do you think that the old saying "The March wind will blow and we shall have snow" came from? The last few years have been desperately mild. I use the word desperately to address the consequences of changeable weather conditions on our wildlife, rather than the toasty temperatures. Early mild spells often encourage birds to start nesting and produce a clutch of demanding offspring before there are enough grubs about to sustain them.
Last year I put a couple of nest boxes on my house mainly with a view to encouraging a few sparrows, the chirpy spuggies failed to show but both boxes were adopted by the same pair of great tits, albeit not at the same time. The persistent pair hatched a brood of nestlings just prior to a cold snap last year following a period of mild weather, as a consequence there were fewer caterpillars emerging than required and only a few days after they had hatched I watched one of the parent birds air lifting the limp bodies of their young away from the nest. Dark days indeed.
Subsequently the box around the corner was deemed suitable and a second attempt by the same pair of birds was underway. Some few weeks latter we were able to enthuse about the young great tits rattling around like lizards in a tin in their home, battling to get their heads out of the entrance hole in a bid to get to their attentive parents first.
In short it just goes to show how our fickle weather can effect the lives of all that exists around us.

Older Post Newer Post