Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spring on the marsh

I have always loved this time of year in Norfolk, still bare and spare but with real if subtle signs of spring. Nowhere captures this feeling than on the marshes along the coastal path.

Just three short weeks ago, stepping down off the bank was to risk losing a boot and any semblance of being in control. Most walks involved at the very least an undue amount of slipping and sliding if not much closer contact with our best liquid mud. A couple of weeks of blocking high pressure and much of the mud has dried out to provide at least a hard crust and there is - maybe briefly, it is still March - a more predictable surface underfoot.

Other than our own peculiarity, Alexanders - which this year have started into their headlong growth rather earlier than usual, much of the plant growth is still just in winter mode. Not so with the birds who are doing what they normally do at this time and are clearly already well into the nesting season, and because spring growth has yet to provide cover, rather easier to spot.

The last couple of days served to remind us again that Easter in Norfolk often provides more in the way of weather than Christmas, but even with the return of wet and cold it does just start to feel a bit like Spring.