Monday, April 03, 2023

It feels like spring.


Alnmouth with Coquet Island in the distance.

Sunday was a calm and pleasant day, getting brighter as it wore on and for once spring was in the air. What breeze there was, came from an ENE direction building hopes that we might come across something out of the ordinary. Unfortunately we didnt turn up anything rare but we still had a good morning seeing a few migrants.  

I met John at Alnmouth Cricket Club at 7am. A stroll down to the water works and flood meadows was filled with bird sounds. Lapwings and Redshanks displaying, Geese clattering around, a Water Rail squealed from a dense patch of phragmites and the sound of Chiffchaffs rang from every tree tall enough. 

A field near the track held some Mad March Hares, in April, with 8 or more chasing and boxing around.

Brown Hares mating.

 While watching these, a pair of Shoveler flushed from the small pond to settle again on a flash near the river.

Next we took the car down to the estuary. From here we covered the rest of the patch including the shore, bracken hill, and the estuary itself.

At this time there is an odd mix of birds of both summer and winter. There was a lone Barnacle Goose swimming up river beside a drake Red breasted Merganser, 25+ Wigeon, 20 Teal, 153 Curlew, a Goosander and 80+ Pinkfeet North while newly arrived birds included a female Wheatear, 4 Sand Martins, many Chiffchaffs, a Little Egret and 15+ Shelduck . There was no sign of the Avocet John had here mid week.

Little Egret

Incoming Sand Martin.

Stonechat on shed in the dunes.

Teal looking very smart in the sunshine.

Wheatear flew from beach and relocated in paddock on top of bracken hill.

 Later in the morning the warm sun brought out a few insects - 2 Small Tortoiseshells and a scatter of Hairy footed Flower Bees.

A small solitary bee, I'll need advice from specialists for this one...Andrena scotica. 

A male Hairy footed Flower Bee showing is feathered legs and the white blaze...

Small Tortoiseshell, the first butterfly of the year for me.

Back home at lunchtime, I was pleased to give the lawn its first cut after a wet March. Now I can let the meadow kick in. In the garden were more Hairy feet and 2 Peacock butterflies...

Peacock in the garden.



Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Those hare pictures are incredible!

Stewart said...

Thanks Simon, Hares are funny creatures...