However you choose to mark it, spring is officially here. We're
past the first of March, the equinox has happened and the somewhat
arbitrary 21st marker was yesterday. For me though, spring is when the chiffchaffs start singing. And boy have they started singing...
Another summer migrant to get the pulses racing is the sand martin.
Overall its progress this year is on a par with the swallows. But one's
got further north. To Lothian in Sotland to be precise on 13 March.
This, tweeted dOSssDaz, was a new record.
I spoke with Stephen Welch, the Bird Recorder for Lothian, to
confirm. "It must be a record," he said. "The report was at Musselburgh,
over the boating pond at 11am. The sighting was by ex-RSPB Frank
Hamilton, who has been birding here since the mid-1950s at least. I have
searched the Lothian master database of about 500,000 records back to
1992, and found no others earlier. It would be very unlikely to have
had an earlier one in years to 1992, there is a definite trend towards
earlier arrival in recent years."
Stephen also pointed out that chiffchaff song has reached Scotland too. It's great to hear that after the bitterly cold Scottish March,
spring has now arrived there too. First records of chiffchaffs are
usually singles, he said, "but it seems they hit a sweet spot and all
arrived together (in a manner similar to whitethroats, which in my
experience tend to arrive all of a sudden)."
Another highlight from Paul at the BTO this week was the arrival of two white-spotted bluethroats (one at Spurn, East Yorks, the other at Oulton Broad, Suffolk).
It's less noticeable to us of course but spring's also been very busy
out at sea. As Maya Plass, marine biologist and Autumnwatch guest
presenter, so succinctly tweeted yesterday: "Nutrient upwelling = plankton = basking shark etc = Springtime!"
The most exciting is the basking shark. The Wildlife Trusts was in
touch yesterday with news that on Sunday it had received the first
official basking shark sighting for 2011. Scuba divers spotted the monster of the deep 50m from Roskilly Beach in Newlyn, Cornwall.
The Trusts said that the first sightings are usually in May. But the
pattern has been shifting. Warmer seas mean the earlier arrival of the
shark's food sources. And that's where the 'nutrient upswelling' Maya
talked of comes in. A 50 miles long algae bloom was found yesterday off the southern coast of Cornwall and Devon, also a few weeks earlier than expected.
Possibly not a coincidence that it's brought with it the first of this year's basking sharks.
Meanwhile back to the birds. The RSPB today said it's getting more
and more calls from worried householders reporting birds nesting in
their lofts and attics. No cause for concern it says, the culprits
(usually sparrows or starlings) aren't trapped and are very unlikely to
cause any damage. So please don't disturb them.
I was walking along the canal on my second walk around my willdife
patch and I spotted this Black-headed gull and when I zoomed in I noticed it has no
foot. So I decided to call him stumpy . I will try and catch up with every day and keep
you in formed to where he is.
Also on patch this morning were 40 to 50 lapwings all trying to fly in the gales
force winds and they were mixed in with 100 gulls ,I tried to get some photo's of the gulls
that were sat in the farmers field, Also the Oyster-catcher is staying around. But whist i was photographing the lapwings i noitced to the left of me that there was not one Oyster-catcher there was 2 put there beaks in the mud.
I managed to get a photo of the lapwing's gliding in the strong winds while
the heavy rain went off , there must of been about 50 of lapwings all flying in the air , but as soon
as the Heavy Rain Came back they went at the back into the fields and started to have a quick
bath the water.
Here is a far photo of the lapwing on patch having a quick bath , before
they go off to feed in the fields , they were going crazy , The flaping off there wings
as they came over my head.
As the rain went off this morning I stopped an look left to right into the trees
and Listened it was silent , but then all of a sudden long tailed tits and mix of birds went
crazy something was telling me that there was a bird of prey or they knew that it was going to rain.
Kingfisher Perched On tree Branch on my local canal , There must of been about
3. I was Photographing elderberries in the tree and I heard a noise to my right hand side and saw
flash of Blue as soon as I saw the blue I knew what it was straight
away i turned to my right as slow as a snail and started to take photo's
of the Kingfisher , but then a canal boat came around the corner and
the kingfisher flew up and sat in the tree with 2 more of them , I
couldn't believe how close i was stood must of been about 4 or 5 meters
my way back I managed to see the Kingfisher fly right in front of me
also in his beak was a fish it must of been for a female Kingfisher. It
landed in front of me on a post then it saw me slightly move and it was
off straight away.
The Grey Heron was also hunting on the canal but this was a lot further down, Luckily i had my
trousers on and was lying on the floor , i couldn't move at all ,one
move and it would fly. As I waited a canal boat did the work for me and
made the Grey Heron Take off , As I was hiding in the Undergrowth on the
canal path the boat didn't see me either.
Flash our Male Mute Swan Posing for this Weekly Photo Shoot down on the canal. Meanwhile Snow the Female Swan with no tag was Preening her Feathers
and and watching Flash was his Photo Taken . I requested Info or flash
and is 16 yrs Old. I couldn't realize that he was that old.
Injured Falconry Kestrel - Harbutt's Field Middlewich
A Friend knocked at my Door and said do you what to look after a Injured Kestrel Until the Rspca come collect in the Morning but i have no where to put it so we went to the Local Vets In Middlewich Willows
An Injured Falconry Kestrel , that Cannot Fly, picked it up and took to his Garage and put into a box and then came to me and and i carried and help take it to the local Vets and they took it off us so the Rspca can take tomorrow.
Thursday 29th 2013 A Stray Jack Russel Terrier - Location Big Pub Middlewich
I was sat doing some Blog and I saw this dog running around over the bridge , so i asked a few people that were around if they had lost there dog and they said it has been running around a few days. So i went to see if i could catch the dog but it wasn't easy as i thought because it was very scared and very hungry. luckily had some dog biscuits on me and managed to grab and have a closer look. There was no collier on it but what i did notice there was an infection on its tail. Luckily there was a Cheshire East Worker coming towards me and I asked if he could ring the Local Dog Warden come and collect. So i left him to wait with the dog so they could collect it from him.
Thursday 23th August Cat Black and White with Grey
I had a report that there was a Injured cat down near a bypass near by the canal, So i went to investigate and check it out. When i arrived at the scene i could see the cat sat in the bush ,the cat was very scared and was trying run away. I got my Gloves on and picked the cat up . My friend Fionna was walking her dog and i ask if she would help take the cat to the vets. I carried half way and the cat suddenly turned on and bit me on my Thumb 7 Times my thumb was bleeding really bad so i asked her to take the cat and i took dog, so she put it in a box and we went to the Local vets Willows and they said it was broken and it had a broken Pelvis and they check to see had a chip and it did it was someone from Middlewich and they took off our hands.