30th March 2012
Managed to get the moth-trap out last night. A single capture, but a pretty one, was this Streamer.
Block paving in the garden morning and early afternoon, so a good chance to do a bird list - twenty-two species seen or heard in total. Highlights were a group of 19 Fieldfare heading north, a trickle of Linnets, possibly migrants, and a single Red Kite (fully-winged this time) drifting north low over the garden.
Another interesting thing was a Starling singing from the TV aerial next door. In its song I clearly heard Jackdaw, Buzzard, Blue Tit and Robin!
The House Sparrow population, which is very healthy in Little Irchester, are also hard at work nest building. At least two nesting under the eaves of the house next door.
A little later three Buzzards were up over the Country Park along with a Sparrowhawk, at some altitude. Whilst I was watching the Sprawk folded its wings and shot down from that height and scattered the birds from next door's bird table with a tremendous whooshing sound. It didn't get anything but god knows how everything got out of the way in time.
29th March 2012
You'll have guessed I didn't manage to get the moth-trap out!
Gardening this morning and treated to our "local" Buzzards displaying over the valley and driving off an interloper this morning.
The sunny weather has been great for getting the insects going - some easier to photograph than others. Here are a couple from today.
First the easy - a beautiful Brimstone on our Choisya...
...Second, the not so easy - Bombylius, the Bee Fly, holding station in our garden for hours on end, It was probably this I saw on the 24th...
Later in the day, thundering down from on high, an Osprey decided that Wellingborough was worth checking out at 14.40.
I've noticed that during migration periods, early afternoon is the "peak" time for the raptors drifing over. I wonder whether there is a correllation between the time they make landfall on the coast and then make their way inland, perhaps in a slightly more relaxed way (not being over water and being able to linger in thermals).
A Comma and an extremely tatty Peacock made for a good March day's insect watching.
27th March 2012
Taking the girls to school this morning, we'd just passed the entrance to Irchester Country Park and were entering Irchester when I saw a couple of partridges on the verge - NOT RED-LEGGED BUT GREY!!! Made my morning and, so far, my month birdwise.
Our cats are revealing a healthy Woodmouse population in the area (sadly) and will soon be wearing very loud little bells again. One consequence of their bringing in mice and "losing" them (although I think they're trying to populate the house with mice so they don't have to go out) was discovered today when the phone batteries were discharged and wouldn't recharge. It was traced to a gnawed cable (low voltage fortunately for the little squeaker) in the room that I had live-trapped it from on Sunday.
It's been so warm today (although I've been laying a kitchen floor so haven't seen much sun) I may get the moth-trap out tonight.
25th March 2012
Meagre pickings, as expected, in the moth-trap this morning with a single Common Quaker as first trapped moth of the year.
Later in the day we found a Hebrew Character on a garden seat near to where the trap had been set.
A small flock of Fieldfare heading east was another sign that spring has sprung, as well as a Chiffchaff singing at the bottom of the garden.
24th March 2012
Gorgeous day spent in the garden. A couple of large Sparrowhawks tussling over the Country Park were the ornithological highlight.
Insect-wise, Brimstone and a couple of Red Admirals bombed through the garden, and a hoverfly kept station over the garden in seemingly the same spot all day!
Such a nice day that I got the moth trap out. We shall see what appears in it tomorrow.
22nd March 2012
Finally got round to going out and "doing a bit" on my local patch, Little Irchester Pits (you can find out a lot more about them here ).
Misty morning to start with, brightening into a lovely spring day. From Little Irchester to Summer Leys LNR and back, at a gentle birding pace, takes less than 2 hours and is a lovely walk down the Nene Way and back along the old conveyor track.
The only spring migrants in evidence were Chiffchaffs, although there were a few Mipits moving north.
Winter visitors still present included good numbers of Wigeon and Fieldfare.
Breeding activity is beginning in earnest, with at least 12 singing Reed Bunting, displaying Great Crested Grebe and 2 singing Cetti's Warblers.
Total list - 43 species
Afternoon in the garden - 2 local Buzzards soaring over the garden and a Red Kite (local? Had 2 primaries missing from right wing so if I see it again I'll know).