February brought quite a contrast in weather, frost and snow and then temperatures
in double figures! It really felt as though spring had started. In our garden snowdrops
and crocuses are well out and primroses and lungwort are coming into bloom. The latter
is useful as a nectar source for early butterflies and bumble bees. The afternoon
of March 2nd was really beautiful on the Common, a cool wind but bright sunshine.
A couple of buzzards were circling over East Common but we didn’t hear much bird
song, just the occasional robin and an owl calling briefly near the sewage works.
Along the concrete road on east Common the catkins on the planted alders were fully
open. Near the gate the trunks of the aspens shone almost white in the sunshine.
Apart from snowdrops and a few daisies we saw no flowers but the bluebell leaves
were just appearing. As usual, moles have been very active. Near the south-east corner
of west Common we saw evidence of tunnelling just below the surface of the bracken
litter but with no molehills.
The first few frogs appeared in our garden pond soon after the snow melted. When
we get warm damp or wet evenings, frogs and toads will be about in numbers so we
make our usual plea for care when driving along Common Road after dusk. Many toads,
as well as frogs and newts, are killed during March along the stretch beside Studham
Hall Farm. The volunteer “toad-lifters” do move many animals across the road to safety
but they can never collect all of them.
See February’s Nature Notes
The Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - website: