Its been a slow start to spring. The weather has been reasonably settled but successive systems have channeled Arctic air from north, keeping temperatures down and many of our migrants south of the Channel.
Normally by now we would be seeing a steady stream of swallows, chats and warblers arriving on the south coast, yet movement is slow.
Chiffchaffs are in voice on the common and thrushes are doing their bit, but the blackbirds are still only just tuning up. There is a trickle of action, but no-one really wants to be the first to declare winter truly over.
When southerly winds do arrive, the world might just go a bit bonkers. And though the yellow flush of celandines and primroses is still building to a blooming crescendo, if we look hard there are signs of life.
I found a slowworm today – my first of the spring – and remarkably my fifth reptile species of this year. I saw a sand lizard before February was out, and four different adders have laid their towels on the prime local basking spots.
Just the one grass snake from ‘our’ colony has so far emerged, and he was grateful for my body heat. Inching up my sleeve and coiling beneath the crook of my elbow. He really didn’t want to come back out so I brought him home for a cup of tea.
A few bumble bees are buzzing, the first butterflies emerging, and a queen was warming up before preparing her own wasp factory.
With the passing of the equinox so the days become ours. Time is a friend as we wait for the rush – all we need do is make the most of every minute.