Monday, 13 April 2009

Monday 13th.April 2009

It took till well after lunchtime for the grey skies to start to break and for the drizzle to stop . At the first rays of the sun , I was off , to do a first proper visit of the year to the farm lake , having just dropped in a few times to see if there was anything interesting , which there wasn't .
It seemed to be the same today , but slowly , like the sunshine , it got better . On the lake were 2 Canada Geese , 2 Coot with 4 young ( could only get 3 of the young in the shot , sorry to rub it in Warren) , a pair of Little Grebe , a pair of Moorhen and a fly over of 4 Mallard . Walking round , with just the occassional passing car , it was once again , like paradise . The list of birds seen/heard grew and grew . 5 Green Woodpecker , Mistle Thrush , 3 Skylark , 3 Magpie , 2 Carrion Crow , 3 Robin , 2 Chaffinch ,Nuthatch , 5 Pheasant ,2 Jackdaw , 2 Long Tailed Tit , 3 Goldfinch , 2 Great Tit , Jay , Wren , Blackbird , and of course 2 Rose Ringed Parakeets , and I had just missed a Common Buzzard before I arrived .
Around the lake , the Coltsfoot is in that in between stage . Some of the flowers are still in full bloom , whilst others have gone to seed , and are making their pappus seed heads . As they come to the end of their time , Cowslips are beginning theirs , with large swathes of yellow covering the banks . In one bay , the first flowers are showing on the Bog Bean-Menyanthes trifoliata .
In the same area , there was movement in the water and 'croaking' noises . It turned out to be a group of Common Toads intent on making sure of the next generation . As far as I could see , there were only 4/6 females , but about 10/15 males were in the area . Every female I saw had an attendant male on her back .
The smaller , lighter coloured male was there to fertilise the string of spawn , secreted by the female , and all the unattached males were there to try and jostle him off the female , and take the place themselves , hence the amount of movement in the shallow water . The more I looked , the more strings of spawn I could see . Just one Peacock and a first of the year Green Veined White , were the only butterflies recorded on site .
On the way home , I stopped off at the Common for a look around , in now quite respectable sunshine . On the heathland area I found my first day flying moth of the year , a Common Heath , this one a male with the feathery antennae . I'm glad to say that the Long Tailed Tit nest is still intact , but the problem time comes when constant arriving and departing with food for the nestlings , draws attention to it's position . Heard/seen on the Common were at least two singing Blackcaps and 3 singing Chiffchaffs . Butterfly sightings were , 4 Peacock , 6 Brimstones ( including 1 egg laying female ) and one male Orange Tip .
When I got home , sitting in the garden with a cup of tea , a male Orange Tip made three passes through the garden , but did not stop for a photo .


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Whata great variety of wildlife you saw today, everything from Birds to Butterflies, Moths to Toads,and Flowers thrown in for good luck.
I like the baby Coots, cute huh??
Shame about the Buzzard.

Warren Baker said...

yep. Greenie you dont hang around! got the lot today! maybe you can take the wife out for a stroll!!!