Posted on 1st March 2014
March is a month of promise. The winter is drawing to a close and, as long as the weather is kind, some resident birds such as Robin and Blackbird will be nesting.
With a warming climate we have seen increasingly early arrivals of many summer migrants over recent years. Wetland nature reserves like the Trust’s Rutland Water and Cossington Meadows are good places to see some of these birds, for example Sand Martin and Swallow. The Warren Hills area of Charnwood Lodge NNR has become well known as a place to see Ring Ouzel and Wheatear and other early migrants. Ospreys return to Rutland Water during March, while in woodland nature reserves such as Prior's Coppice, Burrow Wood and Launde Big Wood woodpeckers will be calling and 'drumming' on trees, spring flowers like Primrose and Wood Anemone will be starting to bloom and, with a bit of luck, it will be warm enough for a few butterflies to brighten our day.
Species of the month: Great Spotted Woodpecker
It is found anywhere there are trees large enough to support nest holes. In late winter and early spring the presence of this woodland bird is often given away by the drumming sound it makes by striking its powerful bill against a tree trunk or branch. Similar in size to a blackbird, it has a bounding flight, closing its wings after several flaps.
Photograph: A male Great Spotted Woodpecker (Rob Field)