Monday, 25 April 2011

Mon 18th to Sun 24th April

A fairly interesting week for garden stuffs...

Birdwise, all the expected songbirds have been around, including one of my favourites, Goldcrest. I have heard them singing and also heard the thin little alarm calls of these tiny little birds from the pine trees in opposite gardens. There is definitely a nest in there somewhere. Otherwise just very common birds, but hearing a dawn chorus of about 20 Blackbirds is nice no matter how common they may be! Unusually I haven't heard much from Chiffchaffs or Blackcaps singing arlund the garden, which strikes me as a bit odd. Perhaps the birds I had heard singing prior to this week were merely spring migrants. Also of note, while not from the garden, were two presumably migrant Willow Warblers singing from the area around Blatchington Pond.

it's also been a bit of a mega-week from fly-overs. Until about three weeks ago, MEDITERRANEAN GULL was not on the garden list. When both dad and I heard the flong-overdue first one in March, we joked we would get loads now. And we have! On the 18th, dad saw a flock of 10 over the house. He then heard another on the 22nd, and I notched up another on the 24th. That's three sightings of twelve birds in one week. None too shabby!
Another garden first for me flew over calling on the night of the 22nd. Well actually I got to sleep so late it was probably the 23rd by the time I heard it. We have had quite a few fly-over waders from the garden; Woodcock, lapwing and Snipe diurnally, and two species of Godwit, Curlew, Dunlin, Common and Green Sandpipers and Golden Plover at night. However the WHIMBREL I heard was another overdue garden tick for me.
And just to complete a trio of rare fly-overs in an excellent week, the second RED KITE of the spring flew over on the 24th. But once again Dad managed to grip me off on it. Bastard.

Mammal-wise, I've managed to hear plenty from the Foxes, but being in a town we aren't really blessed with amazing mammalian diversity. a Pipistrelle Bat seen on the 24th was nice though, only the third time this year I've yet seen them.

The pond is now alive with Toad Tadpoles and Smooth newts. On the few occasions I have checked under the roof tiles I can still find up to two Slow Worms, but it seems some may have moved elsewhere now (I could pretty much guarantee four of them under here in early april) perhaps they've gone off to breed somewhere more secluded.

Insect wise there have been a few interesting things. These include, in no particular order, Ichnuemon Wasp, Red Mason Bee, Woolly Carder Bee, Tawny Mining Bee, Many-plumed Moth, and White-shouldered House Moth. Just about all of these are 'new' species for me, as I've only just gotten into insects the last few weeks. However, the only butterflies I have seen have been Peacock, Common Blue and Comma. Common Blues especially being abundant at the moment. No Dragonflies or Damselflies in the garden yet either but surely it's just a matter of time.

Many-plumed moth, a big fan of bedroom lights

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