April 1st and midday has passed so we can safely go outside. The March weather has improved and our rain men report an average month in rainfall ranging from 58.75mm (very precise) in Alresford to 48mm in Sutton Scotney. Anyone measuring the rainfall in South Wonston your input would be welcome.
Did you put out a black plastic liner, if so now is the time to watch it on a weekly basis. On March 10th my first Slow Worm appeared attended at one corner by a small dark toad. The Slow Worms will mate and have young under the plastic cover. The toad is waiting for a meal!
My Moorhen in the Ivy tree across the river has lost her eggs to the Magpie and the duck nesting under my neighbours’ periwinkles below the front window has suffered a similar fate. The Moorhen has re-nested right out in the open by the fallen tree in front of the house, cannot see how they will be successful in such an exposed spot without a 24hr guard.
We are slowly getting to grips with our fallen trees but it will be a while before the footpath will be clear again. A company from Axeford is helping with the clearance and have found a home for some of the timber in pallet manufacture and some shipping to France for cheese making industry to use for making those thin wooden round boxes so a little light in the gloom of devastation.
The Watercress beds in Hunton remain un-useable still because of the high water table and will take some clearing when the levels allow. This has not daunted the resident Yellow Wagtails (pictured) which has nested there year on rear for as long as I can remember.
Keep an eye out for the Swallows and an ear for the Cuckoo they won’t be long now and because of the low frost levels we have had there should be flies aplenty.
Image of Yellow Wagtail from www.rspb.org.uk