Saturday 24 March 2012

T shirt weather

Wow! It's not often in March you find yourself stripped down to a T shirt, this year spring truly is early and if the wind dies down the heat of the sun can really be felt. Has to be said though that it pays not to leave the discarded layers too far away as should the sun go behind a cloud or the wind speed lift the temperature soon begins to chill a lightly clad body.
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These sheep are waiting for their morning feed, except they weren't exactly waiting. Due to the kinder weather sheep are happy to rake away from troughs. They aren't just hanging around waiting to be fed, there is a bite of grass and they'd often sooner have that than hang around waiting for some cake to arrive. Having said that though they definitely don't say no when cake is offered.
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These photos were taken a week ago, just prior to 8am, what a glorious morning, it was a real pleasure to be out there viewing the valley on such a clear morning.

The morning chorus is almost reaching a crescendo, curlew and skylark singing their hearts out, garden birds chirping away merrily, woodpeckers tapping with gusto, oystercatchers calling down by the waters edge..... a true cacophony of sound, an absolute pleasure to hear.

There has been so much to see over the past week, almost too much to take in. Ravens tumbling in the sky, red squirrels scooting and chattering in the trees, curlews flying and emitting their plaintive call.

There are goosanders, mallards, mandarin ducks on the water, dippers and wagtails also. Robins, Blackbirds and Thrushes singing their hearts out around the house.

There is one bird however which is proving elusive, a bird I saw much earlier in the winter, made acquaintance with it on a number of occasions but to date it is eluding me, the peewit (lapwing). Maybe I just haven't been concentrating sufficiently - have overlooked the poor souls, but I have to say, they don't seem to be hitting me in the face just at this moment. Their numbers have been dwindling over the years, maybe they're finding the competition from ravens and carrion crows is too much for them or there again, as already said, mebbes I've just had too much to take in and 'missed' them.

Adders have already been sighted, although not by Shep. It will be perfect conditions for them coming out of their hibernation, there is no doubt they will be basking somewhere in a sheltered spot warming their bodies with the heat of the sun.
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Bumble bees are buzzing, even a tortoiseshell butterfly the other day flittering around the sheep pens.
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Other things are flying around our skies, many of them. Helicopters, thankfully not the air ambulance type but the armed forces type. With two army bases near at hand there is often action in the skies, at present we are experiencing a lull from the low flying jet aircraft, rather than the scream and roar of jet engines we are getting the buzz and hum of helicopters.
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I got my eye on this wild honeysuckle coming into leaf yesterday, a sparkly green ness in what would otherwise have appeared a 'dead' woodland. It really seems like the world is coming alive! I've even cut our garden grass, unheard of to cut it as early as this. There was not masses of growth, especially with three dogs having traipsed over it throughout the winter but once it was cut it looks so much tidier which just shows how it must have grown.

Further down the valley lambs are beginning to spring into spring. I called on a friend today and was greeted with "Have you come for a lamb?" When I replied that I hadn't they then enquired whether I would like one anyhow! Too many multiple births had found just days into their lambing that there were a number of pet lambs looking for surrogate mothers. Well I wasn't gonna be one of them, that's for sure! I don't think there are many shepherds out there who would say they like pet lambs, noisy time consuming things they are - having said that though I couldn't help but be curious and go have a peek
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A noise not heard since last spring, one which easily gets on your wick - lambs blaaring, a choir of them in fact, all with slightly different voices, all saying the same thing - "food"!


Dafad said...

Last year. for the first time at home I saw a small group of lapwings up on the common. I'm hoping that they will stay and nest. increasing the numbers all be it will be slowly. Skylarks a plenty back in Wales & here in pancake flats too. Spring id definitely sproinging fast this year!

Tarset Shepherd said...

Hey Dafad! I saw them today....Peewits (lapwings) three of them, calling, swooping, diving.... They have been somewhat elusive but was good to catch up with the critters. Spring springing fast, almost seems like summer has arrived! phew! A March to remember I doubt.