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Spring sneaking into Cumbria whilst the rest of the Country is deep in snow

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Even though the rest of the Country is deep in snow, the sun is shining in Cumbria and I feel spring in the air. Each new day is a little longer than the last with fewer sightings of the Christmas Robin.


Snow drops and crocus are pushing through around the Tranquil Otter and birds are starting their territorial actions with the Great tit calling “teacher, teacher, teacher”. Yes it really does say teacher – listen for yourself on the RSPB website. The great spotted woodpecker has also started its drumming of trees getting ready. To me all these birds have such big personalities and yet when you see them with the naked eye they are so tiny, I feel like commanding them to sit still so that I can take a look and work them out. Never mind with a bit of patience and food bribery it is possible to sit and wait for the birds to appear, either in the bird hide or the deck of each lodge.

If you know your birds then why not see which of the following you can spot, blue tit, coal tit, nuthatch, blackbird, chaffinch, woodpecker, wren, long-tailed tut, treecreeper, corvids and Jay. Let us know how you get on.

In terms of waterfowl, as opposed to the woodland birds, we have been so lucky with Mute Swans this year, one of the resident pair had 8 cygnets in 2011 and they all survived – unlike the three geese we were hoping to keep. Recently we counted 21 adult Mute Swans and 8 cygnets. We also had a passing visit from 4 whooper swans, perhaps they were checking out the neighbourhood.

Everyone who has managed to spot an otter has been delighted. My personal excitement has been seeing kingfishers and buzzards. Before Christmas I saw a buzzard hovering about the road whilst I was approaching on a bike ride, have to say that I was a little nervous.