A quiet time of the year for many species in the woodland. It’s a good time to spot the shy roe deer through the bare trees.Great spotted woodpecker start their drumming display and you might see their distinctive bouncing flight as they move between the trees.
Snowdrops are starting to push through the frozen ground, these delicate little flowers are the first flowers of the year to bloom in Locherwood.At the end of the month take time to have a look in the ponds and ditches. Frogs will be emerging from hibernation and returning to the water to breed.
Clumps of frog spawn can now be seen in the ponds and ditches, now toads will be returning to the water to breed laying their eggs in long strings.Ravens can be heard calling overhead; they are the first birds in Locherwood & Ladymuir to build their nests and lay eggs.
Spring flowers are starting to appear. Pink purslane and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage can be found along the edges of streams.The bright green wood sorrel leaves start to appear. These heart-shaped leaves are edible and have a sharp acidic taste a bit like the skin of green apples.
The distinctive call of the cuckoo can be heard throughout the wood. The young ravens are now ready to fledge, meanwhile most of the woodland birds are just about to lay their first clutch of eggs.On warm sunny days look for butterflies fluttering between the wild flowers or basking in the sun. In Ladymuir the little green hairstreak butterflies can often be spotted near patches of blaeberry. Orange tip butterflies can be seen on cuckooflowers where they will lay an individual orange egg.
Common hawker dragonflies and large red damselflies can be seen patrolling the water’s edge looking for a tasty midge snack.Spignel is starting to bloom, look for the clusters of tiny white flowers and the dark green feathery leaves of this aromatic plant.
Small pearl-bordered fritillary may be seen feeding on bugle, bird’s-foot trefoil and thistles, although the female will lay her eggs on dog violets the main food plant of the caterpillars.Greater butterfly orchids will be in flower amongst the open grassy spaces within Locherwood.
The hills in the distance will be a vibrant purple now the heather is in full bloom.In the patches of heather around Ladymuir you may spot the large hairy fox moth caterpillar.
Summer migrants are getting ready to leave, hundreds of swallows may flock together before heading off back to Africa.Trees will start to change to their autumnal colour. The needles of the larch tree will start to turn yellow, although a conifer the larch is a deciduous tree and loses its needles in the autumn.
The winter migrants are starting to arrive, flocks of fieldfare and redwings might be seen feeding in the fields surrounding Locherwood and Ladymuir.Amongst the fallen leaves fungi can be found. The poisonous fly agaric with its red cap and white spots adds some colour to the woodland floor.
Crossbills will be feeding on the cones from the sitka spruce trees in Ladymuir.Listen out for jays, these colourful members of the crow family are quite hard to spot but their screaming call lets you know they are about.
Look for animal tracks in the snow.Robins will their distinctive red breasts seem more apparent at this time of year.
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