Spring

The place to chat, fluff your feathers, and let off steam!
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Hen-Gen
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Spring

Post by Hen-Gen » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:38 am

Awoke this morning to wall to wall sunshine and not a breath of wind. And my first ewe had lambed, twin boys. Twenty three, three week old chicks happy in their shed. My co- owned Galloway cattle all healthy and contented. Alls well with the world. But I daren't leave the ewes because the birds are bad this year. Virtually everyone else has found newborn lambs with their eyes and tongues pecked out and in one case even a ewe savaged as it was giving birth. It's a joy having no foxes but the big three avian killers are fierce. (that's Great Skuas, Greater Black Backed Gulls and Ravens).
And my nearest and dearest 500 miles south working. Ho hum.
bigyetiman
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Re: Spring

Post by bigyetiman » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:19 pm

Woke this morning to lashing rain, strong wind, and 5C. so glad someone has good weather.
Skuas and the bigger gulls are evil, no Ravens in this part of the world, although a pair did arrive and breed on a pylon along the Thames last year successfully and have young again this year so only a matter of time before they are plentiful around here
Margaid
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Re: Spring

Post by Margaid » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:07 pm

I'm somewhere between the two - 5C, strong wind and intermittent sunshine. It's unusual for the east coast to get lasing rain while we're nice and dry 8-)
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Spring

Post by MrsBiscuit » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:22 pm

Well given I am probably the most southerly of us, I am not having the best of weather! Its been a typical April - ie very variable from low 20s down to about 10, but lots of wind and 2-3 times the usual amount of rain. Today was sunny, then cloudy and now its trying to rain and we will be having a fire lit for the third time in 3 days.

On the subject of bad birds, I am not aware of any here, but then again there isn't much livestock, just the occasional couple/flock of goats. However, it was very warm earlier this week, and I was sitting quietly reading when a hoopoe came down and landed about 6 foot from me. They are common birds, but rarely do they spend much time close up and on the ground. I don't think he/she saw me, but I could see the crest very clearly, and the length/hookedness of the bill, although its quite fine as he/she poked about looking for food. I could imagine them as a wader and I hope they are not malicious. They are going about in pairs at the moment, this one looked relatively young as it was quite slender.
bigyetiman
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Re: Spring

Post by bigyetiman » Tue May 01, 2018 12:42 pm

OH will be very jealous when I tell her. She loves to see a Hoopoe over here. She longs to find one on her local recording patches. There have been a few come across here this spring. Even I think they are stunning. We were in Norfolk in January at a well known raptor watching spot when we heard one everyone's head span round, it was someones phone tune !
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Spring

Post by MrsBiscuit » Tue May 01, 2018 1:16 pm

I know what you mean! They are quite stunning and I like them because they are an easy spot!

I have just read/listened to something on the BBC iplayer which says that Spring is, on average, 26 days earlier than a decade ago. I know Spring/Autumn do seem to be starting earlier, but 26 days? I just don't believe it, at this rate Spring will start before the New Year and still in my lifetime! The gist of the clip was that detailed records are being kept with help from the public for the past 20 years, and there is lots of more random info gathered from years before.
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chrismahon
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Re: Spring

Post by chrismahon » Tue May 01, 2018 1:55 pm

Quite cold here today with the temperature down from 28C a week ago to 13C and a chilly West wind, so it doesn't feel like Spring at all. Forecast says 2C tonight which, because of our terrain, means we could well see a frost on the vegetable plot. Bad news that as the tomatoes are on their second truss, all the potatoes are just about to be earthed up and the squashes are well on the way. Fortunately we have plenty of fleece which strangely is all made in England but sells here for just a fraction of the price we used to pay when we lived there?

A pair of Hoopoe have arrived here this week- one flew against the patio doors, catching spiders I presume. Curiously the Cattle Egrets have started to return- but they've only been gone a couple of months so quite where they went to after riding out the Winter here I don't know?
Margaid
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Re: Spring

Post by Margaid » Tue May 01, 2018 11:31 pm

Had a frost last night (Monday) Grass still white at 8 am. Warmed up during the day but with a cold wind. Raining again now :(
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LadyA
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Re: Spring

Post by LadyA » Wed May 02, 2018 9:16 am

MrsBiscuit wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 1:16 pm
I know what you mean! They are quite stunning and I like them because they are an easy spot!

I have just read/listened to something on the BBC iplayer which says that Spring is, on average, 26 days earlier than a decade ago. I know Spring/Autumn do seem to be starting earlier, but 26 days? I just don't believe it, at this rate Spring will start before the New Year and still in my lifetime! The gist of the clip was that detailed records are being kept with help from the public for the past 20 years, and there is lots of more random info gathered from years before.
Spring this year here is, they tell us, about a month behind. I'm looking at my apple trees thinking "Bloom, for pity's sake!!" It's just seemed like a long, endless Winter, since that "Ex Hurricane Ophelia" in, was it early October? Record amount of rainfall, major snowfall in March when we haven't had snow for 8 years, and it's still struggling to get to highs of 11C during the day. Some days it stays around 6 or 7. However, we are promised much warmer weather for over the weekend, so here's hoping! This morning is nice and bright, although it's a bit chilly.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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chrismahon
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Re: Spring

Post by chrismahon » Wed May 02, 2018 12:28 pm

Well it was a light frost only- down to 0C and now brilliant sunshine and 18C and rising. The snakes are waking up and sunbathing. The lizards are basking on the walls and the hornet and wasp queens are out- a major downside of living here. Last year we had a nest of Asian Hornets set in the wall after they killed off a black bee nest. Cost €150 to get rid of it- too dangerous to go near so we had to call a professional. We had two nests of European Hornets, which are harmless but can cause problems. One nested in the kitchen chimney and almost blocked it- took 2 days to open up the chimney and get the nest out. Not that serious, but they kept finding their way through the cooker extractor fan and flying around inside the house.

So this year we are following a French friend's recipe using plastic water bottles with a mix of beer, wine and strawberry syrup hanging every 10 metres around the house, 8 in all. So far we have caught a dozen- half European and half Asian, so if we hadn't used the traps we would have been in trouble later in the year. Lets hope we have caught them all.
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