Easter sightings

Local walks over the Easter break have revealed some of the usual suspects. No real surprises, but it is just nice to see familiar species and some at more or less the time we might expect to see them.  However, the cowslips at the Balk area near to Stanley Flash are perhaps slightly early with some flowers beginning to go over.  At the flash itself there are abundant goat willows in flower providing a useful nectar source for insects such as over wintering Peacock butterflies and bees although none where seen on my walks this time.

Goat willow

Goat willow

Cowslip

Cowslip

At Bretton Park, wood anemone are providing a welcome sight in the woodland around the upper lake.  This plant can be an indicator of ancient woodland, which is an area that has been treed in some way for around four hundred years and therefore they are an irreplaceable and valuable habitat.  Occasionally wood anemone may also be found in some of the district’s meadows or hedge banks and here it is possible they may be ‘ghosts plants’ from a long lost woodland.  Also, the upper and lower lakes at Bretton Park have once again attracted frogs to spawn.

Wood anemone

Wood anemone

Frogspawn

Frogspawn at Bretton CP

First frogspawn, late date!

The first frogspawn of the year appeared in my pond  at Hemsworth today. This date – 1st April – is the latest that the frogs have spawned in my garden as far back as I can remember. Usually, the frogspawn appears in late February or early March. Frogs have been active for some weeks but have disappeared each time the pond has frozen over. It will be interesting to see how much damage the frogspawn will suffer during the cold nights expected in the next few days.

frogspawn in Hemsworth pond

frogspawn in Hemsworth