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Joe McWilliams

First day of spring

I wonder how the first day of spring looks for those of you not living at 55.2867 N in a continental climate zone. Daffodils abloom, perhaps? Migratory birds flocking north?
Here it was -10C at sunrise, up to about +2 now, with a gusty east wind. Canada geese have been spotted in the past few days. Snow forecast for the next two days. Not a crocus in sight, nor any expected for another month. However, spring does seem to be coming earlier than it used to.
chris-l

That sounds very unspringlike to me, Joe. I suppose our temperature today has been a little under 10c (definitely no minus sign needed), with sunshine, but a cold wind. Crocuses are beginning to fade a little, but daffodils are in full bloom, as are wallflowers, primulas and bergenias. The robins, sparrows and collared doves in the garden are positively skittish. The blackcap which spends the winter in our ivy has not been seen since late February, so presumably is now back in its Eastern European breeding ground. Fruit blossom is looking decorative (it is over with on some varieties, still to come on others), but two magnolias down the road from me are looking absolutely magnificent. Leaf buds are apparent, but not yet open.

Does that give an idea of Spring in John Clare country? We have had a very mild winter, even by our standards, but experience tells us that snow in April is by no means impossible, so winter may yet come calling!

I hope that warmer conditions will soon reach you and the spring flowers, when they bloom, will make up for the long winter months.
Joe McWilliams

How lovely you make it sound, Chris. I had to Google 'John Clare country,' of course. Embarassed
I wonder if your 'blackcap' is what we call the chickadee. Perhaps not, if they (blackcaps) flee cold winters. Nothing induces the chickadee to go south.

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chris-l

As far as I can remember, the chickadee is very similar to our blue tit, and those certainly seem to stay put where they find a ready source of food. The black cap is a type of warbler, which has always been a summer visitor to Britain. Recently, some birds have been spending the winter here,  but apparently these are not the same ones that come here to breed in the summer months, and they go further north and east  in Europe to build their nests. Very complicated!

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