Saturday, 16 March 2013

Subtle Spring


In wet breezy conditions for much of the day today, no new birds of note were located locally.

A Red Kite was again at Hanging Houghton, with 3 Reed Buntings in the garden.  Kelmarsh Hall hosted a couple of Bramblings plus small numbers of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls.  A pair of Goosander were north of the causeway at Pitsford Res this morning and a Barn Owl was hunting at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell this afternoon.

There are subtle signs of a very slow change in the seasons, but it's looking very much like a late Spring this year!  Despite the cold temperatures and continual rain, stalwarts like Skylark and Mistle Thrush refuse to be intimidated by the weather and continue to sing from on high.  It is a good time to listen for the somewhat weak but appealing Bullfinch song, often issued from the cover of dense Blackthorn or similar.  Although they sing on and off for much of the year, the song is often drowned out by stronger songsters during the late Spring and Summer.  Fieldfares are flocking up on waterlogged fields often accompanied by Redwing and Starling, and small groups of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes are flushing up from hedgerows as they manoeuvre themselves back to their breeding territories.

Looking skywards, small numbers of Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, finches and Skylarks are quietly moving over, mostly heading east and north.  Gulls have continued to move through the county in big numbers, with plenty of vocal Common Gulls dropping in to feast on worms on the wet fields and Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls flighting over in small groups.  It is also a good time of year to watch small groups of Great Tits as they chase and display their belly stripes to each other!


Neil Mt
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