Spring 2013

I write this on a lovely, sunny day in late May. That proves that we had some sunshine this spring! The season is delayed and that has had an effect on the plants and animals in Gimswood. The aspen trees are yet to come into leaf, and the ash have only just done so. There are tadpoles in the ponds, but they are not very big yet. I found green blobs in Square Pond again, but no one has yet identified them. There is a photo, so if you have any clue, please let me know.

So at last the trees are in leaf, mostly. Everywhere looks so green and the grass is suddenly growing with the little bit of warmth that we have had in the last week or so. The nights are cold and some parts of Britain are having frosts; luckily here we seem to have escaped it. However, the cherry blossom was caught by frost and some early leaves of cherry and dogwood have been blackened. The crabapple blossom is just going over now and because it has missed the frost, there should be a good crop this autumn for the birds to eat.

I have already mentioned tadpoles. There are a great many of them in Oval and Complex Ponds but none in Square Pond or in the scrapes. It looks as if it will be a good year for frogs and toads. In the largest scrape I found small dragonfly larvae. That is not the best place to live since there is the likelihood of the scrape drying out in summer. Just because it did not dry out last year does not mean that it will be the same this year. I cannot rescue all the wildlife that have found themselves in the wrong places, so they will just have to take their chance.

Of the bigger animals there was no sign other than hoofprints of deer and pawprints of fox in the mud around the ponds and scrapes. We have seen mallards, snipe, pheasants, wood pigeons, buzzards and kestrels but so far we have not found nests this year. The whole woodland is full of birdsong, but I can recognise only the chaffinch, great tit and chiffchaff song. These, and the rest, are small, brown and all look the same when silhouetted against the sky. I wish I knew more to identify them!