Monday, 15 March 2010

Pond Life and New Hythe 15th March

Some people say that the first day of Spring is the 1st March, for others it's when the clocks go forward, but I reckon these Frogs in my garden pond would say today was the day. Lets hope they've got it right, frosts have wiped out their spawn too often in recent years. I'm hoping they lay it at a reasonable depth this year but I have a plan to avoid potential disaster should it be threatened by heavy frosts.

I visited New Hythe today and the sunshine and light winds that prevailed during the morning left me in no doubt that a corner had been turned. I know the weekend was nice but where I was in Hampshire and Dorset there was a very chilly wind which really kept the temperatures down.

Anyway, I was really hoping to see my first Sand Martin of the year passing through or hawking for early insects over the lakes. In 2008 my first New Hythe sighting was on 17th March and for 2009 was on 19th March so I really was "on a wing and a prayer" as they say and unfortunately the prayer wasn't answered today. I did add a year tick for NH though in the shape of an Oystercatcher which Alan spotted as we walked up the river path. Sparrowhawk also made an appearance here as well as a single Redshank and a couple of Shelduck.

In the corner of Abbey Mead lake we found two very vocal and showy Kingfishers which made a few high level flyovers in what I presumed to be part of a courtship display. While watching this a Chiffchaff made a brief appearance in the bushes to the side but wasn't heard singing. Unfortunately there was no sign of the two Wigeon seen on the lake a day or two earlier, they really are giving me the runaround so far this year.

Not a single Fieldfare or Redwing on the East or West Scrub or anywhere else on the site for that matter. I guess sightings of these will become fewer and fewer now as we move into April but they did a good job of entertaining us through the winter months and now will be moving back to their own breeding grounds, in Scandinavia I believe.

The warm sunshine also bought out a few Bee species today and I also spotted my first Brimstone butterfly of the year along the Millstream path, unfortunately it was far too busy to allow more than a fleeting glimpse let alone a photograph.


Warren Baker said...

Oystercatcher! Nice, thats one I wont see this year!

Keep the spring posts coming phil, the migrants always hit your patch first, so i'll know when i'm likely to see some on mine.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Phil, I had to pop in and take a look at your blog after noting that you beat me to it on Warren's blog with your Coot comment :) You have a great site here and I have enjoyed rummaging in your archives!! I am glad you are seeing some frog activity.

Lovely Dunnock photos on an earlier post and I laughed out loud at your 'NewsFlash' post about the Sparrowhawk, beautifully and very imaginatively written!

PS. Apologies if this turns up twice but blogger messed me about!

Forest the Bear said...

I bet your pond is a noisy place at the moment Phil,with all those amorous frogs...I know my dads always was!!!

No Sand Martins at the coastal sandbank over here yet,lets hope maybe in the next week or two.

Tricia said...

Isn't it great to see the frogs in the pond and know that Spring's finally here! Some good birds you've seen and like you, I've now seen a bumble and today my first flutterby.

I shall have a longer look around your blog but I now I'm going to enjoy it!