March was, in general, a mild month in my Shropshire garden, but at times the wind was blustery and not very spring like! Rain and showers with even a hint of snow made it feel like winter was returning. There were still masses of birds around the garden though, especially siskins and goldfinches feeding on nyjer seed. The abundance of small birds in the garden meant that the local sparrowhawks were much in evidence and a male bird was seen taking a blackbird from the top of one of my hedges. A few winter birds such as brambling, fieldfare and lesser redpoll were still around and the wonderful fluty song of a mistle thrush was heard every morning. Two herons and several mallard visited the big pond.
As we moved into the second week of the month two of my favourite birds appeared in the garden. These were red-legged partridges – birds that have bred in the garden before and they seemed very much at home wandering around the paths and amongst the plants in the borders. The rather wet blustery weather continued but this didn’t stop daffodils, violets and celandines bursting into flower, nor prevent the local blue tits from investigating several of the bird boxes around the garden. Finches were in abundance this week especially siskins, goldfinches and chaffinches and the garden was a rather noisy place with a great deal of twittering bird song.
The third week of March brought snow, rain and fierce winds to my garden so I left the miserable weather of my home county for the milder conditions of South Devon. The garden around my accommodation there was beautiful with huge magnolias in flower and countless house sparrows nesting in the old walls of the buildings there – a real treat for me as house sparrows are a rare sight in my garden.
At the end of the month on returning home to Shropshire, the weather had improved, chiffchaffs were singing in the wood next door and primroses and violets were in full flower all around the garden. On the last day of the month a chiffchaff ventured into the garden and sang from the top of my small copse of trees. At last I felt that spring had arrived!