Spring nature walk: part 2
This blog article continues my Spring nature walk in the Breamish Valley. You can read Spring nature walk: part 1 here.
I’d begun my Spring nature walk in Branton Nature Conservation Area a couple of weeks ago with the idea of taking a fresh look at so-called ‘mundane nature‘: looking again, at what, without a second glance, might be thought to be humdrum and unexciting.
Spring nature walk: part 1
There’s something to be treasured about a Spring nature walk in the Breamish Valley. Daffodils and tulips bloom, the days grow longer and the heavy, wet ground of winter begins to dry out. Hawthorns begin to leaf, blackthorn begins to flower and it feels a little warmer. And…did you notice? It makes us feel a little better as well, doesn’t it?
Hovering kestrel at Branton
I spy…a hovering kestrel
I set off cycling along the Breamish Valley a bit later than usual this morning. It was fairly windy so I wasn’t too sure how far along the valley I’d manage to get. Anyway, on my approach to the Branton footbridge that crosses the River Breamish – along National Cycle Network, Route 68, just alongside Branton Nature Conservation Area – I was delighted to see a hovering kestrel hovering over the lane.
Basking adders in the Breamish Valley
Because adders are reptiles, they are cold-blooded. This means that they are reliant on external energy sources – especially the sun – to maintain their body temperature. They regulate their temperature through basking in the sun or seeking shade. Their body temperature is, therefore, approximately the same as the outside air temperature (ambient temperature). They can, however, be active in temperatures as cold as 6°C. Which was about the temperature yesterday when I saw these two basking adders coiled together at Branton Nature Conservation Area, close to the car park entrance.
So…the temperature rose today to a balmy 4 degrees! Consequently, Branton Lakes have pretty much unfrozen. Just a few floating cracks of ice:
Felt pretty warm walking in the sunshine but pretty cold as soon as you dipped into shade. The Exmoors are a hardy breed…and kept watch on the lakeside.
Enjoying Branton Lakes
Having spent time back in Teesside recently, it’s wonderful to be reminded of just how lucky we are to have the riches of the Branton Lakes Nature Conservation Area on our doorstep.