Sunshine Stroll

Friday 27th March

A frosty start again this morning but soon warmed up as the sun rose.

The Lesser Celandines (Ficaria verna) I pass on the bank by the lane I walk down in the mornings don’t seem to like the cold as the flowers are mostly closed against the chill. Later on, as the sun warms them they fully open up with rays of bright yellow petals – like a mat of little suns on vibrant green leaves.

This a mainly woodland plant that prefers shade and damp places and is quite common on banks and verges too.
On a closer look I noticed that some flowers had a white base to the petals and wondered if this was some sort of variation or perhaps bleaching as they get older?
Something I really noticed as I entered the wood was the shrill chattering call of a very animated Nuthatch (Sitta europaea). This charming colourful bird which is often a regular visitor to bird feeders, has a wide variety of calls and is the only british bird that climbs down trees headfirst!
If you are able to get out, it’s a great time of year for bird watching as they are their most vocal in the spring and you can spot them in the trees before the leaves unfurl.
I also pass near an old and now extended badger sett and have noticed a lot of activity over the past few days as they seem to be rearranging their bedding – no doubt having a spring clean after a long wet winter.
You can make out a bit of old fur at the entrance of one of the many holes in the bank on top of some freshly excavated soil.
Enjoy the sunshine if you can!

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