Still very cold and windy on Sunday, but came across a nice display of Hoary Cress on the channel side.
Also found a freshly consumed Partridge egg on the moor, probably a stoat, but didn’t find any more shells.
We also watched Mr Cob defending his area, he definitely does not like Canada geese, and he’s not alone.
Today was 10 degrees warmer and we saw lots of swallows passing through, and watched a Short Eared Owl hunting of and on for 3/4 of an hour. Also came across six Wheatears on the moor and six near the paddock, could have been the same ones.
We had an interesting find this morning or should say the dogs did, a hedgehog tucked in, next to the trunk of a willow tree, close to the bird feeders. Not seen one of these on the reserve for a very long time.
We also watched a Kestral take a small vole, unfortunately out of sight to take a picture with it’s catch.
It would have been a really pleasant afternoon except for the cold wind, but in the sheltered areas I found my first damselfly, a Large Red, not sure if this is slightly later than last year, will check with Jim and Lew and then shortly after, a Peacock butterfly looking a bit worn from over wintering.
Spotted my first ducklings today on thr fishing pond, only five and they will need to keep close to mum these cold nights.
Also a male merganser found sleeping on one of the spits, hope it’s mate is sitting. The two gadwall are still on pond 17.
Short Eared owls are still passing through, appears to be much later than usual.
Barn Owl spotted on Monday evening while on way to Natterjacks, plenty of calling from pond 35, the field pond and the wet area in the third field.
Lovely sunny day to-day,counted 14 swallows in total.As reported earlier on the blog,willow warblers everywhere interspersed with reed warblers around the fishing pond.No sign (for me at least)of sedge or
grasshopper warblers,but I suspect I will be contradicted.Sighting of a whitethroat earlier in the week,but no sighting since.Attached is a pic of one of the three lapwing nests I have found in the two fields,seem to be a bit scarce this year.
Hi, the sightings following are from Saturday 21st :- Common sandpiper at fishing pond could also hear at least two reed warblers. On the long pond there were four male mergansers and one female, one of the males was trying to keep two of the other males away from the female who had gone onto the small island that the swan is nesting on. The pen swan did not seem concerned at all as did the cob who was patrolling close by. The pair of gadwalls were close by too….will they nest? Will the mergansers nest? Would be great if they do.
Found another two strings of natter jack spawn in pond 35….must be getting warmer ! Nine shelducks are flying and settling down here there and everywhere, but a couple of them are looking at an old badger sett….again will they use this as a nest? These ducks nest in old rabbit burrows and any holes they can find. Their eggs are white and need to be secreted away from predators for obvious reasons. When the young are older the adults creche them together again for protection. The canada goose also uses this strategy.
At the north feeder all the usual suspects were in evidence plus a sedge warbler. The blossom of the willow was attracting many bees and the buzzing was intense. On thursday last (19th) two long tailed tits visited the feeders for a couple of minutes and then they were on their way.
Hi, following on from Bri’s pics of the long tailed tits at the feeder we also saw two common sandpipers on the long pond. The pair of Gadwall ducks that have been present for a few weeks have disappeared along with a pair of mergansers. The latter were trying to nest but appeared to be harassed by a pair of canada geese. These intruders to our shores want to dominate any area they colonise to the detriment of any indigenous species. Do all those do gooders re the proposed Windermere cull understand the machinations of this gregarious goose?
We had a very nice treat this morning with a visit to the feeders by two long tailed tits. They are always on the move, hardly time to stop and feed, but fortunately we were presenr for the couple of minutes they could spare.
Found first string this year in pond 35, only 5 days later than last year, but last night was the first to be frost free for quite a period. Mergansers
Also we found a pair of Mergansers and possibly she was sitting on the nest, and he was on duty watch in the water, the pics were taken an hour after the first sighting when she was moving back into the water. Will keep an eye open and report any progress.
Both this morning and afternoon, Willow Warblers singing to claim their patch of willow, spread throughout the the south of the reserve and around the fishing pond. Nice to think they know something we don’t and spring is finally on it’s way.