I was sorry to see winter go – for over a week I trudged through ankle deep snow and captured some really magical wildlife. But now the snow has gone and all the lovely fieldfares, redwings and bramblings have gone with it. While everyone was looking forward to spring, I was looking back to the winter I loved most.
At the weekend I went for my usual walk and instead of the serene silence that I usually hear in coniferous woodland, I heard birdsong. I picked out robins, coal tits, blue tits and a distant yellowhammer in the gorse fringing the forest. Perhaps most special of all though was the trill of one of my absolute favourite birds: the crested tit. I think I’ll always feel that little jolt of joy when I spot a crestie – they’re just so rare and special and I feel privileged to be able to see them quite easily where I live. The sun was shining so brightly I wished I’d dusted off my sunglasses, and although there was still a chill in the air, I began to embrace spring a little more.
Today my phone made an exciting sound – it was the jingle I’d set especially for local bottlenose dolphin sightings. If the dolphins had returned then spring was really kicking off. It was another glorious day so during a work break I walked up to a particularly good sea vantage point near my house and scanned the perfectly still water. No fins this time, but I watched dozens of birds criss-crossing the horizon from zippy turnstones to bulky cormorants. There was a group of twelve long tailed ducks too, which was a familiar winter sight among the spring buzz. I’ve felt a significant shift in my natural surroundings this week and although I still miss the snow, I’m really looking forward to those gorgeous dolphins coming back.