If today is the first day of spring, then yesterday must have been the last day of winter.
I spent the evening of the last day of winter giving a talk to my local mid-Nene RSPB group – as a stand-in for a much better speaker, Ian Newton, who had lost his voice.
There were five reasons why someone might have felt a bid sad about this. First, Ian must have felt rotten so that was a shame. Second, the audience was robbed of a great speaker and had to put up with me instead. Third, I missed hearing Ian talk. Fourth, I missed Ian’s company as we had planned some chatting and birding around his visit to my local patch, and therefore fifth, Ian missed the four Sand Martins I saw at Stanwick Lakes this morning (proving that it is, indeed, the first day of spring).
But there were some up-sides too – for me at least. I enjoy talking to people and I enjoyed yesterday evening. I also sold eight copies of Fighting for Birds, was told some local localities for Little Owls and had some interesting chats with people.
The talk went down well, as it did at Benson a few weeks ago and this talk will get its last outing next Saturday at the Hampshire Ornithological Society meeting. So HOS, expect to hear about gorgeous Duchesses, expensive bird books (not mine – mine are cheap), Blue Whales, men with moustaches, a graph which doesn’t look like progress and a bit about the Orange Kite. But I only have three copies of Fighting for Birds to sell so it’ll be first-come, first -served.
Yes, four Sand Martins this morning. And a few Small tortoiseshells too. Bye, bye winter – thanks for the Smew, Long-tailed Ducks, Barnacle Geese, Snow Buntings etc but roll on spring with a hat-full of warblers, Swallows, Cuckoos, Swifts, Sandwich Terns, Garganeys and so much more. It’s difficult to miss winter when spring is upon us. The next 10 weeks are the best of the year – let’s hope for good weather, at least sometimes, and great wildlife.