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Dirleton in Spring

Crocus_on_Dirleton_Green

Crocus on the village green, photo by Tom Drysdale

Inspite of cold weather remaining well into March this year, it is cheering to welcome longer days, returning wildlife and a succession of spring flowers to Dirleton village and the surrounding woods and fields. Throughout February snowdrops and aconites have been growing through the fallen leaves of autumn to provide welcome signs of the coming spring. March brings crocuses to the greens throughout the village to be followed later by the cheery yellow of daffodils and vibrant tulips in village gardens, and primroses, violets and pungent wild garlic in the woods. Many of the walks described on this website are really enjoyable in Spring because of the profusion of wild flowers in the woods. Snowdrops abound, and the area around the Renaissance pond is particularly good for primroses and violets. A special favourite is Bickertons Way and its mysterious knight.

In the woods and at the shore look out for returning birds - the Seabird Centre in North Berwick awards a prize for the first sighting of a gannet on the Bass Rock. In the woods at Yellowcraig a guttural honk gives a clue to a heron’s nest to be spotted high in the pines. The oystercatcher can be seen all year round on the shoreline at Yellowcraig, but particularly in spring when there is no better time of year to observe it. Noisy and excitable birds, oystercatchers work their way along the edge of the water, feeding on shellfish and sand worms. Their long orange bill and pink legs make them unmistakable. The head, breast, back and wings are glossy black, with a broad white wing band. The underparts and rump are white. Its call is a ‘peet, peet’ and a trilling whistle in a rising and falling clamour.

The Night Sky - Spring 2016 In March and April the “king” planet Jupiter lords it over the nighttime sky. Jupiter shines all night long. It rises in the East at sunset, climbs highest for midnight and sets in the West at sunrise. Jupiter ranks as the second — brightest planet, after Venus. At present, Venus is only visible for a short while before sunrise. That leaves the king planet to rule the night.

Follow our suggestions for walks in the area to see the best of the spring flowers and foraging recipes for wild garlic.

A gentle stroll towards Fidra Lighthouse
Bickertons Way
Foraging for Wild Garlic
An Easter Cake