Tom Gray’s Nature Notes: Spring is on its way

Tom Gray
Tom Gray

After yet another week of mild weather, and sunshine, last week I walked out of my front door one morning to the song of a cock Chaffinch in full voice.

He asserted his territorial claim around the small copse of trees which lies on the slope below the house. No doubt he’ll attract a female from the woodland of nearby Riverside Park and a nest will be created in the copse itself or in next door’s cypress hedge.

As if to confirm that spring is in the air Mrs Gray reported hearing the fluting call of Oystercatchers passing overhead in the dark as she walked home one recent evening. The car parks of Glenrothes Town Centre will soon reverberate to the massed calls of the flock of these Oystercatchers as they as a flock perform their seasonal aerobatics above the centre’s flat roof.

Now as we move into mid-February Rooks wil be busy restoring their nests in the various rookeries around town and if you are out and about in the countryside please be on the lookout for frog spawn which appears in ponds and ditches now that the air temperature has risen into double figures. I’d be pleased to hear of any localities where Gazette readers have come across any sight of spawning or otheramphibian activity. Let the editor know and she’ll pass the information on.

This arrival of spring was confirmed to me personally last weekend when my eye caught the tiny insect parked on the brilliant golden flowers of Winter Aconites which I have naturalised in the border of my back garden. No doubt the mildness of the weather, aided by a touch of sunshine, had brought the hoverfly out of hibernation. It seemed to be enjoying ts fist meal of pollen and/or nectar after hiding away for 6 months to survive the frosts in some sheltered corner.

*Tom Gray writes for the Glenrothes Gazette