March was a month of extremes; from warm sunny spring days at the start of the month to bitterly cold days of snow taking us right into April.
On the working party on the 9th March a barn owl spent around an hour hunting over the field. It was fantastic to watch it tacking up and down, with silent flight, almost hovering at times, pearly white in the dull light of what had been a wet afternoon. Barney (as he/she has become known) has been seen many times since, and we are optimistically hoping for a breeding pair this summer.
The following week a flock of around 20 lapwings flew in to join the rooks and jackdaws out on the field. Flip flopping on their spade like wings, these birds are often called the farmer’s friend, and they were certainly welcome company on that freezing day with a biting easterly wind.
As March progressed, the wrens, chaffinches and greenfinches in the hedgerows became more vocal, but outperforming all others have been the skylarks, their beautiful song pouring down from above whenever there was a bright spell.
Towards the end of the month there were a few sunny days in spite of the freezing temperatures, and a pair of buzzards was seen and heard calling high up to the north of the farm. While early morning tends to see a pair of mallards hanging around the polytunnels. The drake stands guard while the female has a good old wash and preen in the puddles.
Fingers crossed that April will finally usher in some real spring weather, and with it some more wildlife sightings!