CORBIE – The early bird catches no lambs


Just when I thought we were getting somewhere with this spring business, the snow came back at the weekend.

When I drew the curtains on Sunday morning, the snowflakes were coming down like candyfloss.

By the time I got into my waterproofs for my scheduled walk, the hills were white, but it had turned to rain at lower levels. Undeterred, I set off up the river to see what was about.

There was plenty of bird song to be heard, dominated by the strident song of the local song thrush population.

Further away I could hear a woodpecker 
drumming and a mistle thrush’s tuneless dirge.

It was tough going, with slick mud everywhere and every twig and bush hung with tiny transparent droplets of water just waiting to fall on whatever or whoever came in contact with it.

I found this out to my cost as I tried to photograph a fallen tree covered in an attractive bracket fungus.

Each false move brought down cascades of water which infuriatingly made my spectacles 
useless and photography difficult, to say the least.

My hope for the day was to try and get an
image of one of the season’s first lambs or something like a snow-covered daffodil to illustrate the kind of March we’re having, but I was finding it tough.

The daffodils by the river were far from opening, so I decided to head for the hills and a huge industrial-sized lambing shed, which was sure to have some early arrivals.

As I approached, I could see the shepherd’s cottage nestling in the glen (which incidentally was the inspiration for the “Black Bob” cartoon in the Weekly News, about a Border collie).

The hills behind were still snow-capped and the nearer I got to the shed I knew by the wall of silence that I was too early for the lambs as well.

Oh well, you win some and you lose some, so wet and bedraggled, I headed for home.

I had a tiny bit more luck on Friday night with my moth trap, managing to attract one solitary customer.

It was a wee brown thing called a dotted border, which flies during the first three months of the year.

It is interesting in that the female of the species is wingless and unable to fly.

I’d had them before but it was nice at long last to officially declare the mothing season underway.