Our first swallows arrived today, Thursday 16th April, exactly the same date as last year (2014), and 3 days earlier than 2013 (19th April).
Today also heralded the arrival of the first willow warblers, filling the hedgerows with song, and all travelling from the same part of the world.
The fly honeysuckle is also now in full leaf and the rowan and elder are not far behind. This year we are attemtping to record the first day on which the first leaf on each species of tree is fully opened. This is useful information for helping keep track of trends in changes of seasonality.
The Woodland Trust are running the nature’s calendar survey, an observation record that extends back to the 1600s. It accepts anyone’s observations of key events of several major species of tree, shrub, flower, grasss, bird, insect, amphibian and fungi. We will be contributing to it this year for the first time. It would be good to hear of anyone else who has been doing, or is going to do the same.
Also provided as downloads are a very helpful guide with descriptions and pictures of what to look for and how to identify the index species, as well as a planner that indicates the seasonal window in which to expect to make the various observations.