What to look for in the woods: March

Spring Has Sprung.

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Spring is usually said to start at the beginning of March and later in the month day and night will be of equal length.It is often a troubled time when winter seems reluctant to succumb to the first kiss of spring and lingering frosts and cold cheeks have us thinking of hot soup and rolls!

Little by little the sun is higher in the sky and gaining strength, encouraging and cajoling those favouring a lie in. Some plants are 'up early' and taking advantage of the creeping warmth, not least Lesser Celandine, it's smiling yellow stars cheering up the way. Later in the month the Wood Anemone will join in to create a breathtaking display and Dog's Mercury will clothe the woodland floor.

If the full moon occurs on a milder evening and you venture out then look out for the 'early moth' ( Theria primaria ) and the common quaker ( Orthosia cerasi ) If you are really lucky you may see the hummingbird hawk-moth ( Macroglossum stellatarum ) Now that would be a treat !

Lots going on in the bird world too ! Whilst waiting for sufficient light to begin feeding, the residents start up their dawn chorus just to let everyone know that ' this is my patch and are you an available female ' ! By the middle of the month the chiffchaffs are arriving and can be heard near pussy willow where they search for tiny insects and larvae.

It might only be March but as the days lengthen there is great activity before the leaf canopy draws the curtains for many months and one can almost hear the plants growing in their anxious attempt to survive another year.

Published on 1st Mar 2017

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