Monday, 20 February 2017

A taste of Spring

A spring like day with broken sunshine, 13°, breezy SW.

“3 Wigeon and 2 Teal on the floods near Church rd early morning” but not present at 10:30 when I checked. (Per Richard Broughton).

Don’t recall seeing Wigeon locally before other than on the river in hard weather!

The Little Egret still being seen regularly in the area from the Church rd floods out to Amwell spring.

“3-4 Blackcap still present and feeding on apples in a West End garden and a Peregrine out by the Lees”. (Per Tony Williams).

(Per Tony Rayner). “A Siskin this morning over Cholsey Church.
Amazing how Brimstones suddenly appear on mass. Had a pristine Small Tortoiseshell today too.
Also a great day for reptiles - a Grass Snake and 8 Slow-worms. The snake was my earliest ever recorded by two clear weeks. To have as many as 8 Slow-worms is also a record this early, and again the previous earliest date to have that many was 7th March. The first Bumblebees too, at least two species”.

Lollingdon still fairly quiet, the Little Owl heard again but not seen. 1 Buzzard and 8 Red Kite soaring over Lollingdon Hill and a handful of Fieldfare, 30+ Starling and 8 Pied Wagtail on the Hill and several Skylark in song.

8+ Reed Bunting around the usual stubble fields and fewer Yellowhammer, and a flock of c100 Lapwing seen distantly flying east over the village.

A Grey Wagtail in the garden this morning, a Treecreeper singing, a Kingfisher along the brook and an odd record of a Coot heard over the garden last night at 21:20.

Mammals: Roe Deer and Brown Hare.

Butterflies: 4 Brimstone (2m & 2f) between the village and Lollingdon and a Small Tortoiseshell and 2m Brimstone in TR’s garden.

An interesting observation by Tony Williams last week. “Attracted to a noise I noticed a Peregrine Falcon mobbing a Buzzard on the ground. As I got closer I noticed the Buzzard had a Wood Pigeon and maybe the Buzzard had taken this from the Falcon. The Falcon then flew off and settled in some nearby trees.

After a short while the Buzzard then took off with the Pigeon and was immediately mobbed by a Red Kite. The Buzzard subsequently dropped the Pigeon only for it to be snapped up in mid-air by the Red Kite which then flew off with it”.

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