The Safari has been noticing a large increase in the signs of spring these last few days staring in the garden at Base Camp where the Clematis is shooting nicely and the Crocuses are adding a bright splash of color
Around town on the verges the Crocuses we planted 15 or more years ago as some of the million bulbs we planted for the Millennium are showing a riot of colour now, the Daffodils will be out shortly.
Outside the front door at work there is a mystery plant, it's got us really stumped but will probably be IDd as something really obvious - answers on a digital post card please.
|Looks a bit Lesser Celandine-y but not quite|
Yesterday afternoon we were invited to a site visit and project update at the nature reserve. We arrived a bit early and were able to have a look at the other engineering work being done at the spillway by the Environment Agency - it's coming along nicely; the new 'river' is taking shape.
|Rule 1 don't shoot into low sunshine with a dirty lens - hope you can see the works. The old spillway to the right is still flowing but will be collapsed/demolished in due course|
Going through the gate one of the Hawthorns in the hedge is well advanced and many others have plenty of green showing through opening buds
We were shown some of the habitat work the volunteers had done earlier in the week - wow - impressive, the Whitethroats and Willow Warblers are going to love it when they arrive in April, they could even risk losing a few more of the shrubs where they are growing close together.
We had to have a sneaky peek at the Long Eared Owl too, and there it was on its usual perch, looked like it had hardly moved a muscle since the last time we saw it.
Time for the first look at the works where the new 'panoramic' hide is going. The circled area is the start of the raised mound it will sit on. It's got a way to go yet at full height it'll be well above the top of the reeds. The dashed line is the route of the path which will lead to it up a graded slope.
|It used to look like this|
There's a huge patch of mud to the right which has covered the original vegetation but thankfully there wasn't anything of real note there. It'll be interesting to see what comes up, other than Phragmites (Common Reed) and Phalaris (Reed Canary Grass) that is.
There were Cetti's Warblers singing all around us, the works certainly haven't put them off! Song Thrushes too where very noticeable, they seem to be well on the way to recovery after the national population crash in recent years.
A look through the fence at the island works showed them to coming along nicely, provided the rain keeps away.
The walk back - it's still not possible to complete thee circuit and wont be for a few weeks yet - gave us cracking views of a Barn Owl (MMLNR #71) flying out to hunt. A good end to a good visit. We're going to get a group together to build a superb replacement for the box on the island next winter ready for the 2016 breeding season, Swallows might be beneficiaries too.
No news today we've been to busy in the office to get out other than quick looks at Patch 2 where nothing special was on offer. We had hoped fro another site visit to check out our 'Grass Snake' site for a volunteer work party next weekend but got waylaid by the computer, we'll do it on Monday.
Where to next? It's the weekend, a safari is deffo on the cards and we have a bit of a target to aim at if we can get there.
In the meantime let us know who hasn't moved a muscle since last week in your outback