Not much sign of Spring this morning, with a couple of inches of snow on the ground. However on January 4th we were out in the garden and heard the laughing call of the Green Woodpecker calling from the hill above the village. It wasn't just a one-off because we heard it several times last Sunday, 8th January.
We noticed a good show of Snowdrops in full flower along the road to Hillhouse last Monday, 30th January 2017. We also have some aconites in full flower the garden, as well as some snowdrops that occupy the sunnier positions. Those facing North are much later, still only showing foliage and a bit of white on the same date.
Well clearly the local skylarks are not great meteorologists as no sooner had they regaled me with wonderful song along the Whitehill's Road on Tuesday 21st then the snow comes. It might not yet be spring but it is approaching.
We had at least a dozen frogs sitting at the surface of the pond today, 12th March 2017. No frog spawn evident as yet. They are very canny, when I had walked across to the pond this morning to check whether there were frogs or spawn, I had seen none at all. Later, looking at the pond from a distance with binoculars, numerous froggy heads were evident and also possible territorial behaviour as they chased each other around! As there was no spawn I wondered whether the frogs there were all males awaiting the females arrival. I will keep a distant eye on the situation.
When we visited friends in Newport on Thursday 9th March we saw vast quantities of frog spawn in their pond.
Elizabeth in Kinnaird has had Frog spawn in her pond for the last week (i.e. since about Sunday 5th March. There are lots of frogs leaping around in groups in our pond today - 13th March - so we hope have some spawn before long. Herons have also been seen more around garden ponds for the the last couple of weeks.