Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Beginning of the Return

Yesterday was my first day off for a while and I needed to get out, so as it was warm and sunny, I popped over to Tophill to see what was about. I was going to say that it was all very quiet, but actually that wasn’t the case at all. It was true that most of the waterfowl seem to have left for their summer climes, but the air was full of birdsong.

I have always struggled to get decent shots of Goldcrests, and yesterday was no different. Like many others of the “small brown” species, they had all moved to the tops of the trees with the males full of song in their attempts to attract mates. Lots of birds to see, but in the confines of the woods there was not much to photograph but their unattractive undersides.
However, that was not true of the Chiffchaffs. I counted at least four around the site, with one at the Watton end of the site giving the best views. It is good to see the first of the summer arrivals. I can’t wait till the Blackcaps and other warblers return.

My first Chiffchaff of the year

Chiffchaff - note yellowish armpits

Chiffchaff - in fully song
I am also anticipating the arrival of the swallows and martins, hoping that Richard’s work on a potential new sand martin colony pays off.

The warm weather, however, seems to be confusing the butterflies. I saw plenty of Tortoiseshells and Peacocks, but the Brimstones and Orange Tips seem to be wiser and staying asleep. I was surprised to come across a Comma though.

Comma from Watton hide

A new resident on the pond by D North hide

Keeping an eye on the neighbours

It was noticeable how many Treecreepers there are around "D" Woods, and heartening that so many have survived the winter. Interestingly, I noticed a couple taking an interest in a bat box. Whether that was in an attempt to find a tasty morsel or two, or in the search for a nesting site, I don't know. I will keep an eye on it for future photo opportunities.

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