Early nesting birds:
The winter thrushes, the Redwing and the Fieldfare have left us for their northern breeding grounds.
but we still have our own three residents:
|Blackbird (male)||Song Thrush|
The Mistle thrush (you can tell it from the Song Thrush by its larger size and rounder spots on its chest and underside- and song! ) is usually one of the first birds to nest (The Storm Cock was an old name for the Mistle Thrush – and yes they do carry on singing in a gale!) This winter it was singing around the village before Christmas. But now Song Thrushes and Blackbirds have joined them.
Timing has been crazy this winter - I actually found a Blackbird nest with eggs in December and Blue tits were nesting in Wells! That, if anything, shows how our climate is changing.
We are so lucky to still have such birds around the village. Many parts of England have completely lost their song birds . One reason is the over use of slug pellets - OK I know Somerset is the slug and snail hotspot of the UK, and it is heart-breaking to see your favourite plants in ribbons overnight – but if you can please put pellets where the birds can’t be poisoned or pick up a poisoned snails.
For me the sign that spring was really here is when I saw, and heard, the first lambs in the fields. But ewes are now induced to lamb much earlier than their natural cycle and you can see lambs from the beginning of the year.
Sheep are the stock that need relatively little water, so were used on the higher parts of Mendip on the dry limestone. In doing so they created the open flower rich downland that you see when you look up above the village.Les C