Friday, 9 March 2018

The Thaw

It was quite a dramatic thaw, with balmy temperatures causing rapid melting. That said, such was the amount of snow, that even now some icy lumps persist at the edges of fields, representing locations of previously-deep drifts of snow.

Having slogged through the slush into town the day before - not pleasant and tough going - we opted for a less-soggy Sunday potter around Langford Lakes, to see what birds were about. Although very few of interest were, what greeted us was spectacular.

You see, most of the lakes had frozen over with a thick layer of snow during the big freeze, with the consequence that when we visited, much of the lake surfaces were still covered. The rapid melting was producing interesting patterns in the ice, and making for interesting bird access! Our approach to the lakes was also lined with a pretty avenue of diminutive scarlet elf cup fungi.

It was interesting to see how certain lakes had almost completely thawed, whilst others had really yet to get going. I'm putting this down to differences in depth and volume. Oddly, most lakes were devoid of any interesting bird life, bar the odd tufted duck or great crested grebe, instead they seemed to have made way for a Canada geese invasion.

Although their incessant honking was terribly annoying, their antics on the slippery slush were entertaining, and we whiled away many minutes watching them.

Just as well, because that afternoon, our planned additional walk in farmland around Stapleford on the A36 just outside of Salisbury was curtailed through being drenched by a sudden sleety downpour. Time to call it a day until the countryside has properly thawed out!

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