Saturday, 12 March 2011

Spring is on its way part II

The chiffchaff (phylloscopus collybita Poillot véloce) is definitely here - I heard it singing. A pair of them is working hard at the flies over the millstream. The sound of someone rubbing steel ball bearings together alerts us to the return of our male black redstart (rougequeue noir) in his favourite lookout point on the roof of the grange. There are up to three pairs of greenfinches visiting our feeders, mainly engaged in clearing up the spilled grains kicked out by the smaller and more agile birds. Some of the sunflower seeds are so solid they defeat even the greenfinches, which are almost twice as big as the siskins and much heavier in the beak. The tits seem to be spending more time fighting than feeding, and are outnumbered at the feeders by the finches.

The dog violets at the foot of the longère wall are in full flower, as are the miniature tête à tête daffodils. Cowslips are coming out here and there, and at les Hautes Thurinières the almond is in flower and plum blossom is on its way out.
Almond blossom

Today though, the wind has swung round to the south and it's started to rain (much needed, alas). Today and tomorrow there are carnivals, fêtes foraines and vide-greniers associated with the beginning of Lent - we visited one at Charnizay this morning, and the famous Manthelan carnival, in its 122nd year, is this weekend too. Those nasty weather gods are at it again!


GaynorB said...

Tim says that he heard his first lapwing of the spring yesterday.

Almond blossom pic is beautiful.

Tim said...

I agree... I've told the boss we've got to get an almond tree just for the blossom [the nuts would be a bonus]... there is one at the grand maison just as you leave Grand-Pressigny towards Petit-Pressigny... huge and in full blossom! Never seem to have the camera in the car though...