Thursday, 15 March 2012

The beauty of a spring day

…was particularly evident in these two; both pine (left) and oak (right) beauties – the oak thought to be a reserve first:

Warm days have also seen the grass snakes on the slide again – thanks to Roy Vincent for these great pics from under North Marsh hide:

They havn’t been as showy this winter – but made up for it for Jeff Barker on Sunday morning also under North Marsh hide; bittern – seen again there this morning also:Bittern North Marsh Tophill Low.
However the main quandary of Sunday was winter ending as it began this season – with dodgy white geese! These two snow geese were first seen by Graham Slack on Sunday morning and were still about on Tuesday – pictures from HVWG:

Another from Tom Lowe:

And these great close ups by Roy Vincent:

As the pictures all show they are certainly snow geese – no confusion like the ross’s. Clean legs too – but unfortunately we can’t go much further with them. The genuine article has turned up in spring before – in 1980 a group of birds flew through southern England before being picked up in the Netherlands – one of them sporting a ring from Manitoba (thanks to Tom for the info). In this case leg rings would be of benefit – if they showed a western origin…

Thanks to John Coish for this tufted on North Lagoon:

And also HVWG for a spring chaffinch:


And the first of the spring toads now on the go:


And the pair of mute swan on SMW - one of which is long term resident '339' - in its 11th year now:

Elsewhere a big highlight has been two hen harriers seen by Tom over Struncheonhill – the one photographed by Mike a few weeks back and also a more rufous individual – both 1st winter males. Two short-eared owls were still on the wing today at Standingholme – more pictures on Martin’s blog along with great barn owl pics on Tony’s. Two green sandpipers and kingfisher on the river and 5 pied wagtails in Hempholme meadow, and 16 whoopers north of Tophill at Rotsea. This butterbur is just coming into bloom on Hempholme embankment:

We also got this welcome visitor in the wildlife centre entrance porch yesterday:

Finally –

The new 2012/13 membership permits are now in! Prices remain the same as last year - £20 for adults and £14 concessions – all details on the page above – and available from Saturday onwards...