This afternoon after work, I visited the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, it was unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 70's F, so i was anticipating some Butterflies, I did find the odd one, but not as many as conditions would have suggested, just 2 Comma's, 2 Small Whites, and a possible Small Tortoiseshell, but the latter two species didn't stop around!
As for the birds, well, it was nice to see the BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, and LONG TAILED TITS, as well as the CHIFFCHAFFS, which are arriving on mass now, but I was hoping to hear a Blackcap, alas, that will have to wait another week or so yet, their mean arrival date on my patch is the 30th March, so the one I heard last Saturday morning was early for my patch, in fact it was the second earliest for the eleven years of recording.
On the lakes today there were 8 CANADA GEESE, plus the feral BARNACLE GOOSE with it's Canada Goose mate, as wells as four MALLARD, one female is still sitting tight on a nest. Four MOORHENS were also seen and the COOT pair are still around :-)
I then made my way over to Migrant Alley, which proved Migrant-less, its been a poor start this year for early spring Migrants, will I get one to add to the March list ? This month in previous years have had Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Swallow and Stonechat all turn up over the years, all I got today was a passage MEADOW PIPIT heading North :-)
The sky was clear and blue, not good for picking up any arriving Swallows, but I did get lots of raptor activity, with 4 BUZZARDS, 2 SPARROWHAWKS and a KESTREL all giving great views as they displayed and/or hunted..................same again tomorrow, hopefully with a migrant for the list :-)
|I took a smaller lens out this afternoon, so as to get closer to the Butterflies, it was too warm for them to be basking opened winged, but I got some nice shots of this Comma.|
|You can see the white ''Comma'' mark quite well on this shot|
|The drawback of a smaller lens is not getting such a close up of the birds, but this Wren was quite distant anyway|
|Above is one of the Bluebell flowers that are now peppering the green carpet of the Wet woods, another two weeks and it will be a carpet of Blue ;-)|