First signs of spring, but we haven’t had winter yet

It might only be the beginning of January but nature experts are already noticing the first signs of spring, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.


The lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), considered by many biologists to be an early indication spring is on its way, is already blooming in some places, the paper says.
Wageningen University biologist Arnold van Vliet told the paper he has seen hazel and other trees in bloom and the first tick bites have already been recorded.
Birds
Some bird populations, such as spoonbills, are no longer leaving the Netherlands in winter for warmer climes, Hisko de Vries of website waarneming.nl said. ‘They think ‘why should we? It is warm enough here,’ he told the paper.
John van Betteray of bird research group Sovon says some birds are already busy with the mating season. ‘For example, today I saw two male blackbirds fighting,’ he said.
This winter is so far the second warmest on record. However, according to the KNMI weather bureau, it is expected to turn colder by next weekend, with light frosts at night and remaining around zero during the day.
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