Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

End of Year stroll

Well it was the second part of end of year today, so much of the day was spent in work.

However I did get to the river for a walk. Some nice stuff about. Lots of Chiffchaff,  pair of Grey Wagtail, pair of Great Spots, Green Woodies laughing and a Kingfisher perched by the hide!!

Saw a Red Admiral and loads of Bumble Bees.

Lovely stroll to unwind.


Gardens attract fewer Songbirds

Apparently the number of birds recorded as part of the RSPB’s big birdwatch is at a five year low.

Species that showed a marked fall were Songthrush down 65% and Blackbird down 25%. The Robin was also down. What we don’t know of course is whether this is a decline in actual population, or due to the fact that birds were able to find more food in the countryside, due to less harsh weather.

The most commonly reported birds were House Sparrow, Starling and Blue Tit. In Scotland it was the Chaffinch.

Patch tick!

Spent the Afternoon at Amwell.

The Little Bunting was showing well. I missed the Marsh Harrier that flew through in the morning but Black Necked Grebe was a tick at Amwell for me. Also Snipe, Rail and Redshank

Taiwan to close Major Highway to protect Butterflies

Taiwan is to close one lane of a major highway to protect more than a million Purple Milkweed butterflies, which cross the road on their seasonal migration.

“Human beings need to coexist with the other species, even if they are tiny butterflies,” Lee Thay-ming, of the National Freeway Bureau, told the AFP news agency.

What twit said it was Spring?

I went to Norfolk today. The weather was awful!! Felt more like January!!
Did manage to see 8 Shore Larks and a Great Northern Diver. Still pleny of Brents about and some Pink Feet. Birding the pools at Salthouse threw up lots of Dunlin, Ringed Plover, some Avocet, Turnstone and one very miserable Mipit (as opposed to the two muppets in the car!!)

Best bit of the day was a pint of Broadside by the fire in the Dun Cow at Salthouse

Support Your local wildlife trust

The following story reminds me why you should support your local wildlife trust. Wiltshire wildlife trust with the aid of local residents and the Heritage Lottery Fund have purchased Clouts Wood in Wroughton. More than 400 residents made donations.

Wildlife found there:

Includes wildflowers such as Bath asparagus, wood vetch, nettle-leaved bellflower, bluebells and yellow archangel. Birds including the great spotted woodpecker, treecreepers, and mammals such as squirrels, badgers and deer make their home here.

Visit Clouts Wood in spring (for woodland wildflowers), summer (for trees), or autumn (for fungi) – but wear Wellingtons or walking boots, as the steep terrain is often muddy.

Unlike say the RSPB most Wildlife trusts support small local nature reserves (obviously there are notable exceptions) and are well worth supporting.

Ring Necked Parakeets

There is an interesting piece on the BBC website about Ring Necked Parakeets.

The Government is currently developing a framework for dealing with non-native species – such as the parakeets, Chinese mitten crabs and grey squirrels – and assessing the impact on native species to these shores.

Violet Carpenter Bee in Britain.

The Independent has  a report about the Violet Carpeneter Bee. The Bee which is more than 25mm long. It’s a deep violet blue colour all over.

A colony has been set up and is thriving in a dead Bramley apple tree, in the garden of retired company director Derick Walton and his wife Janet, in Shepshed, near Leicester. The bees first appeared last summer. Remarkably, they have survived the winter and appear to be flourishing.

Now I wouldn’t mind see one of those.  And don’t panic its big but not a killer!

Local weekend

Well I could have gone to see Goshawk’s and Great Grey Shrikes but decided to stay local.

Nice stroll around Hatfield Forest. The Green Woodies were yaffling away and the Great Spotted Woodies were really banging he wood and protecting territories. No joy with Lesser Spots but did see Nuthatch and Bullfinch about. The lake was a bit quiet the usual suspects really. Nice to see the Great Crested Grebes together. Chiffchaffs singing.

on to Amwell Gravel Pits. The Little Bunting HAD been showing well ooh 30 minutes before I arrived but as I’ve seen it before it was merely irritating.

Nice Water Rail, Buzzard, Lapwings, a few Snipe, Little Grebe usual ducks (including Goldeneye) and grebes. Chiffchaff singing away got a brief view, also Cetti singing out. Got a year tick in the form of a Kingfisher. Always a corking little fella.

And so to Rye Meads. I had a Tufty showing off for the camera! and two Redshanks and 2 Green Sandpiper and a number of Lapwings.

This morning I headed back to Amwell for some snapping practice. Nice views of Little Bunting, cetti’s Warbler and my first Sand Martin of the year

A complete list of birds seen.

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Great Crested Grebe
  3. Cormorant
  4. Little Egret
  5. Grey Heron
  6. Mute Swan
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Grelag Goose
  9. Shelduck
  10. Gadwall
  11. Teal
  12. Mallard
  13. Shoveler
  14. Pochard
  15. Tufted Duck
  16. Goldenye
  17. Buzzard
  18. Pheasant
  19. Water Rail
  20. Coot
  21. Moorhen
  22. Lapwing
  23. Snipe
  24. Redshank
  25. Green Sandpiper
  26. Black Headed Gull
  27. Herring Gull
  28. Woodpigeon
  29. Collared Dove
  30. Kingfisher
  31. Green Woodpecker
  32. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  33. Sand Martin
  34. Pied Wagtail
  35. Wren
  36. Dunnock
  37. Robin
  38. Blackbird
  39. Redwing
  40. Mistle Thrush
  41. Song Thrush
  42. Cetti’s Warbler
  43. Chiffchaff
  44. Long-tailed Tit
  45. Blue Tit
  46. Great Tit
  47. Nuthatch
  48. Magpie
  49. Jay
  50. Jackdaw
  51. Rook
  52. Carrion Crow
  53. Starling
  54. Chaffinch
  55. Greenfinch
  56. Bullfinch
  57. Little Bunting
  58. Reed Bunting

Interesting New Wildlife News Website

I have added a link to the excellent Habitat News website. It is a website that contains lists all the news stories affecting British Wildlife and Countryside.

Current top stories include

  • Red Squirrels returning to Yorkshire,
  • the attempt to return the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly in Cumbria,
  • Abderdeen council’s decision to cull Grey Squirrels (they will be “dispatched humanely with a quick blow to the head.”)
  • two teenagers who allegedly drove up and down a road squashing migrating frogs.

I have to say the Grey Squirrel one depresses me a bit. I do understand the need to protect the reds but surely they could be moved hundreds of miles away. Suppose that costs too much money.

The frogs one depresses me more but I am not surprised. “Well nothing else to do is there” Morons.