Monday, April 13, 2020

Week 4. Lockdown.

As we now enter week four of the Lockdown, this must be the quietest Easter Weekend in living memory. Its like a mad vision of the future with people referring to the movie 'Contagion' as if it were some sort of documentary. I feel so lucky in that we live in a very rural area with access to our garden and views across open countryside. What it must be like to live in a flat at this time doesn't bear thinking about for me.

The fine weather over the weekend has resulted in hours sat out in the garden recording the wildlife seen, and I feel that I have even learned a little bit. For a start, here, the best times to watch are from dawn until 9am and again from 6pm until dark. Now we all kind of knew this but to have it confirmed when the mid part of the day is almost devoid of life is a good thing. Almost all new species are recorded within these periods.

In the week since my last posting a lot of spring migrants have come through here to be added on to the garden lockdown list. Personally I am only including birds seen or heard from the garden and not from my walks out with Peggy. This has encouraged some ingenuity in order to keep things ticking along.

For example, in 11 years I did not know I could seawatch from the garden!

Balanced on some boards on top of the wall near the compost dump..

Or on the ground facing up the hill and towards the coast path.

Another angle on my precarious position. I just stand up there behind the scope, on the wall.

The view NE. A Kittiwake from the cliff colony is in shot. The problem is, that bit of sea is too far out to identify anything but Gannets.

I did hit on a nice male Wheatear for the garden list though.
Since the last post, I am now on 67 species for the Lockdown period. A couple of Garden Firsts in the lot are Teal calling over in the dark and 54 Gannets N this morning from the seawatch of about 10 minutes. Also included are Swallow, House Martin, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Fieldfare, Brambling, Siskin, LBBG, Common Gull, Kittiwake, Nuthatch, Barn Owl and Wheatear. I think I will post a full list as I get my counts and list numbers mixed up...

Amongst other wildlife in the garden or from it are Brown Hare, Rabbit, Wood Mouse, Bank Vole, Hedgehog, Roe Deer and Pipistrelle . The warm spell improved the moth and butterfly numbers too..

Bank Vole coming to an apple left for it.
Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Small White seen.

Tree Sparrows have started nesting.

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