Blakehill Wildlife Jan – Mar 2012
A quiet quarter, though with
a record flock of Linnets, the first Woodcock for 2 years and early Curlews
Planorbis leucostoma, the Button Ramshorn (Michael Zenderowski)
Where observers’ names given, they refer to last quoted date
only. Initials only given when surname not known – please put surname on the
board! If no name, record is by RG.
2, same area, Feb 10th & 21st
Red Kite 1, 11th / 24th/ 26th Mar. (Andy Crabtree, RG & Dave Soons)
Peregrine 1 flew up from E. of plateau and soared round
then stooped down out of sight to the E., 13th Feb. First since 21st
Common Snipe 3 ( or
perhaps 5), Feb 10th, the first since 12th December, 2 more E. of site (so probably
different birds) 13th Feb. 4, widely scattered, 21st
Feb., 3, Stoke Common, 21st Feb & Mar 3rd – the first there for
the winter! 1, Blakehill, 15th Mar.
Woodcock 2, Feb 10th – W. corner of
reserve - first since 6th March 2010
Curlew 1, 5th Mar., heard over main
plateau, the earliest ever by 17 days (previous earliest were 2 on Stoke Common
on 22nd March 2007) – pair present from 15th Mar., 4 birds present 26 Mar (Dave Soons), pair displaying, and
possibly mating, on 28th Mar.
Lesser Black-backed Gull 80+ Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Chelworth
side, 1st Jan (Andy Crabtree)
Barn Owl 1 seen near reserve to E, 21st
Jan., may have involved a Blakehill bird. (Jon Mercer)
Great-spotted Woodpecker Drumming, 9th Jan. but not since.
Probable pair, E. end of site, 24th Mar.
Skylark 1 or 2 already singing, 1st
Jan! (Andy Crabtree), c20 on 22nd
Jan. though only 1 singing, at least 40 seen, many singing, 21st
Feb., and subsequently.
Meadow Pipit 50, first flock since November and the largest since April, around
ponds, 9th Jan., c6, Mar 5th, c25, 24th Mar.,
but very few other reports.
Pied Wagtail The first bird to use the new pond (dug
in autumn 2011).
Stonechat M. 19th
Mar., (John Durell), first since October 2011.
Wheatear 1, 31st March (Dave Lee) - the only report of the month
Fieldfare c50, 30thJan., c100, 21st
Feb., c30, 15th Mar. and 28th Mar.
Song Thrush 4 in isolated scrub, E. of site, 31st
Redwing c50, Jan 9th, c25, Jan 17, c50 30th Jan, c60 21st
Feb., c30, 15th Mar. 1 or 2,
Chiffchaff 2 or 3 singing, 24th March
singing at the moat, 21st Feb., - the first ever recorded in the east.
Raven 1, Jan
1st, (Andy Crabtree), 1, Mar 3rd, 1, Mar 11th (Andy
Crabtree), 2, Mar 15th.
Greenfinch A few noted 9th Jan.
Linnet 72, 30th Jan., in trees S. of Leigh entrance,
4.30pm - a site record for this species, still present 10th
Feb., then ones and twos till 24th March when 5 pairs estimated.
Bullfinch 1 singing, 21st Feb., 2
singing, 15th Mar.
Reed Bunting 1 m. singing, Stoke Common, 21st
Feb., and the first report for the quarter! 1 f., Blakehill, 24th
Brown Hare 2 out in the sunshine in the middle of site, 22nd
Jan. 1, 31st Jan, 21st Feb., 5th Mar., 3, 11th
Mar. (Andy Crabtree), 7, 19th Mar., boxing on site (near Purley
Farmhouse) - a site record – (Neil Pullen), 1, 24th Mar.
probably Weasel tracks in the snow, Feb 10th.
Amphibians & Reptiles
Toad In the main pond, several dates in March.
Frog Lots of spawn in W. pond, 15th Mar.
or 2 seen 28th March
Brown Hairstreak 6 eggs found near the site where adults seen in
last two years, 9th Jan.
Small Tortoiseshell 1 seen 28th March.
Beetle and pond snail (Michael Zenderowski)