The signs that winter is losing its grip and spring is almost upon us, can be found across our reserve.

Snowdrops are putting on a lovely display outside the Visitor Centre.

'Lords & ladies' or cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum) are popping up all over the place.

Meanwhile the tits are checking out our nest boxes - the males leading the females to a protective des-res for her inspection. Like anyone looking for a home, she’ll take in the locality, before going inside and looking around. She’ll pop in and out getting a feel for the property. If she approves they will start bringing in moss and grass to create their cosy nest. If she doesn’t she flies off leaving him, in my mind, with a bemused expression, wondering what was wrong with that and eventually following her to continue the search.

Hazel catkins are opening now swinging gently in the breeze and the goat or 'pussy' willow's furry catkins are close behind.

The tiny buds on the the blackthorn bushes are proliferating and in the Discovery Pond, the first new growths of marsh marigold are breaking the surface...

Queen bumblebees are out on warmer days looking for somewhere to build their nest. Typically they will use old mammal burrows like vole or wood mice. They fly close to the ground and even crawl over the vegetated ground in their search. 

If you look harder you may even spot violets...

And if very vigilant...

... the rosette of an emerging bee orchid!

Yes spring is definitely not far off now!

Anonymous