Friday, 20 March 2009

Yaffle Still on the East Coast

Goldeneye (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon
Siskin (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Pied Wagail (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Heron (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Treecreeper (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Sweet Violet (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon
Lambs (c) 2009 Maurice Gordon

It was very cold at the Mere today. However, the cloud broke earlier than forecast, so out of the wind it was quite pleasant. Wassand had changed a lot in just over a week. The fading Snowdrops had almost completely died back, but a great number of daffodils had opened, and, easier to miss, the subtle delights of the Sweet Violet were appearing among the sward. These violets aren't as common as the Dog Violet, but they have a delicate scent, which you can also still experience, if you can track down the children's sweets Palmer's Violets - I thought they were a thing of the past, but I'm assured they are still manufactured. It was nice to find a pair of Green Woodpeckers proving that they haven't died out at this site, although they didn't yaffle once when we were there. An afternoon surprise was a Red Kite, which may have come in off the sea - it drifted in a westerly direction slowly over Wassand with a mobbing crow in tow. We managed some excellent views of Goldeneye in front of the hide. A Siskin and a Crossbill flew over us this morning, and a Water Rail was heard in a small patch of reeds. Also present: Heron, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit and Bullfinch. There were a few birders with telescopes at Kirkholme point, presumably looking for the distant Garganey. Maurice's final 2 pics above, display that he can take softer images, after some were alarmed by his brutal Sparrowhawk images from earlier in the week!

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