On the Edge of Spring

We’re still sitting on the edge of spring here. Everything wants to burst into flower or leaf….but the nights are still a wee bit cold and are slowing everything up. But the hawthorns and elder bushes have come into leaf and we saw the first rowan just starting to burst in a sheltered spot too.

A frosty morning!

A frosty morning!

A rowan tree on the verge of bursting into flower and leaf

A rowan tree on the verge of bursting into flower and leaf

It’s been a week of comings and goings. This is the first week for, ooooh, nearly two months, we haven’t seen whooper swans….so I guess most of them are north of here by now. But we did have our first swallow of the year, on the 5th of April.

Swallow on Burn o Vat chimmney

Swallow

Like everywhere else, we’ve had our share of April showers this week. The low sun very first thing has highlighted all the spider webs after the rain.

Wed with dew droplets

Web….catching raindrops, not flies!

The adders haven’t been appreciating the cold nights or the showers. We’ve yet to see a female adder and there’s no signs of any shed males- yet! But even more of the adders are showing the cloudy eye they get not long before they do shed their skin.

Male adder with cloudy eye

Male adder with cloudy eye

Cloudy- eyed adder

Cloudy- eyed adder

Adder basking

Adder basking

Male adder with clear eye

Male adder with clear eye

We haven’t managed to spot an osprey this week (although a buzzard soaring over the loch was briefly the cause of some excitement) but a chiffchaff near the junction of the main road was shouting his head off….and was spot-able at the top of a bare birch tree.

Chiffchaff "chiff-chaffing"

Chiffchaff “chiff-chaffing”

The sun has brought the celandines on a fair bit. They aren’t looking so reluctant to bloom now and are starting to make a nice show near New Kinord.

The first celandine of spring

Celandine

We also saw our first violet and primroses of the year this week. The primroses have been out on the  coast for a week or two by now….but things often take a bit longer to get going inland.

The first violet of spring!

The first violet of spring

Primrose. The "prima rosa" the first "rose" of spring.

Primrose. The “prima rosa”, the first “rose” of spring.

It’s definitely been a week of “firsts” for the year, so, if you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled. This week brought us our first  butterfly as well- a peacock, basking on the wall near the adders. It’d better watch out…adders, especially young ones, will eat insects!

Peacock butterfly

Peacock butterfly

 

 

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