In this late winter month, we welcome the first signs of spring.
Hours of daylight become longer, birdsong stronger, and those that have slept through winter begin to stir.
Brave buds peep out of the cold ground, badger cubs arrive underground, and the snowdrops that emerged last month greet us with a gentle nod. Things are looking up as the mistle and song thrush sing to us from the tops of trees.
Our ponds start to bubble, as frogs wake from hibernation and jump straight into breeding action. Hedgehogs and bats raise their sleepy heads too, and under the low winter sun you may see the first queen bumblebees appear.
Whilst it remains a struggle for many of our surviving winter birds, as food has dwindled further, some begin preparing for nesting whilst others show off their superiority with courtship displays. Great crested grebes can be spotted wooing each other with waterweed, whilst herons point their bills to the sky to show off their plumage.
As wildlife wakes up and new life begins, our events this month will help you enjoy the last of winter before we burst into spring.
On Saturday 3rd we begin the month at Low Barns developing wildlife identification skills. Our Wildlife Watch group are identifying different species, whilst our Winter Tree Identification event provides everyone with the chance to brush up on their tree knowledge before buds start to open.
At Rainton Meadows, on Saturday 10th, it’s the My Wild Sunderland Winter Marathon. A fun day out for families with a marathon of wildlife activities taking place. On Sunday there’s another chance to brush up on your Winter Tree Identification skills too, this time at Rainton Meadows.
On Monday 12th join us for a Winter Woodland Adventure as we follow the nature trail at Low Barns in search of wildlife.
Especially for Valentine’s day, on Wednesday 14th, we have Love Birds at Rainton Meadows. A special guided bird walk round the reserve.
Our Guide in the Hide event takes place at Low Barns on Saturday 17th. Our guides are on hand to help you identify the visiting birds and those that call it home. Sunday 18th our In Focus Optic Demonstration at Low Barns will also help you see wildlife more clearly, with the help of binoculars and telescopes.
Our New Members Morning on Saturday 24th will give those who have just joined a chance to learn about our work, our plans, and our headquarters as we go for a winter walk together around Rainton Meadows. Whilst on Saturday evening we enjoy a tour of the night skies at Rainton Meadows, when members of Durham Astronomical Society join us for our Moonwatch.
For those looking to connect deeper with nature, our Wild Yoga classes continue to take place every Tuesday too.