Monday, 25 February 2019

Spring Highlights. Looking forward to March.

It was amazingly warm in the garden on Saturday and the birds were enjoying a splash around in the birdbath (any bowl will do). Starlings, Sparrows, the Blackbirds and Chaffinches taking turns for a Spring Preen. I heard the distinct twittering of a Blue Tit and a Goldfinch. The Starlings have been regular visitors in great numbers of late, sqawking away and flying in formation aloft, not quite a murmuration but close enough. Also noted the first Bumble Bee and the first Dandelion, spikes of the Bluebells and the first flowering Wood Anaemone

Sunday headed out for lunch at Rosemoor. On the way noticed the Blackthorn were flowering and had a quick glimpse of a Brimstone on the verge and a Buzzard high above us as we drove along the A386. Glorious sunny day, at last, in the garden awash with colour from Camellia, Crocus, Daffodils and Cherry Blossom, the roses, shrubs and trees ready to sprout into bud.

Plenty of bees out there taking advantage of the early flowering blossom. Also spotted 7 Brimstone and  1 Peacock Butterfly enjoying a warm outing. Plenty of birds too twittering, Robin, Blackbird, Bluetits and Goldfinch. 

Great to see the sunlight through the trees in the lower woodland and as we emerged an Egret was sunbathing across the lake. First time I have seen one here.

The North Devon Coast is wonderful in the Spring, walking while nature watching is great on this stretch of the South West Coast Path including Northam Burrows Country Park and Westward Ho!. In addition to RHS Garden Rosemoor, I recommend Victoria Park, Bideford, Clovelly Court, Hartland Abbey and Tapeley Park, Westleigh.

I have listed here the first events of the season at Clovelly and Hartland Abbey. Westward Ho! is fast becoming a top venue for live music, next up the Big Sound Soul Band “Soul Intention" at The Pier House. 
5th March Clovelly Lentsherd - Free entry after 4.30 p.m.
Lentsherd (pronounced 'Lanshard') is an old Clovelly Shrove Tuesday custom, and the aim is to chase bad spirits away and drive the devil into the sea before Lent. At dusk children set off Down-a-long, dragging clattering tin cans, which are then tied together and thrown into the sea (later retrieved). We like to invite as many children as possible to take part in Lentsherd. Those taking part receive a free pancake to decorate with toppings in the Harbour Bar at the Red Lion. The Harbour bar also offers a lovely selection of bar food should the family like to have supper before leaving.

Sunday 17th March Daffodils & Spring Flower Sunday at Hartland Abbey. 11am-4pm EX39 6DT Contact: Tel: 01237 441496/441234

Friday 22nd March Big Sound Soul Band Soul Intention. The very best of 60s soul classics at The Pier House, Westward Ho!.  Doors open 7pm - 8.30pm-11.00pm. Further information: Contact Terry Thorpe - Facebook @soulintentionsw
Daffodil Days. Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus

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 North Devon Tourist Information Centres
Barnstaple Tourist Information Centre, North Devon Museum, The Square, Barnstaple, EX32 9LS Tel: 01271 375000
Bideford Tourist Information Centre, Burton Art Gallery, Kingsley Road, Bideford, EX39 2QQ Tel: 01237 477676
Braunton Tourist Information Centre The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, EX33 1AA Tel: 01271 816688
Combe Martin Tourist Information Centre Cross Street, Combe Martin, EX34 ODH Tel: 01271 889031
Holsworthy Visitor Information Centre Ruby Country, Holsworthy Manor Car Park, Holsworthy EX22 6DJ Tel: 01409 254 185
Torrington Tourist Information Centre, Castle Hill, South Street, Torrington Tel: 01805 626140
lfracombe Tourist Information Centre The Landmark Theatre, The Seafront, Ilfracombe, EX34 9BX Tel: 01271 863 001
Lynton & Lynmouth Tourist Information Centre Lynton Town Hall, Lee Road, Lynton, EX35 6HT Tel: 01598 752225
Lynmouth National Park Centre, The Pavilion, The Esplanade, Lynmouth, EX35 6EQ Tel: 01598 752509
South Molton Tourist Information Centre 1 East Street, South Molton, EX36 3BU Tel: 01769 574122
Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre The Esplanade, Woolacombe, EX34 7DL Tel: 01271 870553