Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Tuesday Spring 1 - Nutwood, Raywell

Chiffchaff (c) 2008 John Batham
Small Tortoiseshell
Wood Anenome
Record shot of Goldcrest
Record shot of rear view of Goldcrest - note wing bars & tail shape
Record shot of Marsh Tit
The first class of the new term saw us visiting a local woodland renowned for its spring flowers. The morning was gorgeous, although heavy rain was forecast for later in the day. Luckily, most of the rain came across the lunch hour! In the sunshine Gerald spotted a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly – the first of the year for many on the course. There was a good selection of spring flowers including Wood Anenome, Primrose, plenty of the more subtle Dogs’ Mercury, and even a few Bluebells were beginning to open! In the morning down the country lane we had Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Chaffinches, Red-legged Partridge and Linnets flew over. In the afternoon there was a handsome male Kestrel and a Meadow Pipit, fewer Skylarks and no Yellowhammers or Linnets. In the woodland spring migrants were rather thin on the ground, but we did hear Blackcap & Chiffchaff. In the morning we had good views of a Goldcrest & a Treecreeper. The latter was still present in the afternoon, but we also managed to get close to a Chiffchaff. A Mistle Thrush began to sing strongly from an ancient field tree before the late morning rain & was still singing, but couldn’t be located in the afternoon. We did have a little rain both morning and afternoon, but it failed to dampen the spirits of either group. As the rain started in the afternoon Les spotted a couple of Marsh Tits near a muddy puddle surrounded by a charm of 13 Goldfinches! Overall, an enjoyable start to the spring term. Today's Species Total: 25.

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