Friday, 25 March 2011


Toads are starting to spawn now. Lots around Stocks and in the shallows. Their croaking sounds like tiny geese honking. Males that have got hold of a female kick out at any males that approach from behind - any usurper has to try and climb aboard and prise the rival off. Noticed the toads in the more shady areas looked paler, do they change colour depending on the water temperature or less sunlight?  I finished the Kestrel picture this morning, its from a photo I took last winter.

Toads spawning at Stocks Reservoir.

Kestrel on Scraperboard.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Weather been a lot milder recently with some lovely sunny days. Went to Beacon Fell on Monday, frogs noisily spawning in pond outside Visitor Centre. Saw lots of Hares around Lower Fairsnape Farm and as we drove back to Dunsop Bridge. Lapwings doing their tumbling display flights and Curlews calling as climbed into the air then glided back down again ending with quivering wings (braking?) before landing. Saw my first Bumblebees today. One looked about an inch and a half long, black with a yellow bottom and the other was about half the size wtih a red bottom. Nice as bees are, the good weather means all the flies have suddenly come back too. Also saw my first two dead hedgehogs on the roads, so out of hibernation, seems sad survived all winter and then run over. Celandine and Dogs Mercury flowering in hedge bottoms and all the tree buds look fat and ready to open. Met one of the local farmers while out walking, has 560 sheep due to lamb in two weeks time over a three week period. On the next farm along they have started ploughing, much to the delight of the seagulls and jackdaws.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Spring Sunshine.

Everywhere seems to have greened up over the last few days and the scent of Spring is definitely in the air. Went for a walk and came across a Buzzard being mobbed by Jackdaws, it gently soared higher and higher away from them till they gave up. The hedgebottoms are full of seedlings of Garlic Mustard and the shiny bright green leaves of Celandine and Wild Arums. Found one Celandine flowering and some lovely snowy white Pussy Willow. The sun picked out some carvings on a gate post that I'd not noticed before, who was R and what happened in 1865?

Thursday, 10 March 2011


My neighbour has sown some wildflowers and a small group of Siskins has discovered this. About nine of them are coming to the bird table for niger seed as well, so I think I'd better get some more before they eat all her seeds, as the flowers looked lovely last year.