Thursday, 29 March 2012

An Early Arrival

I was surprised to hear the sub-song of a Blackcap yesterday outside the South Lagoon hide at Tophill Low. The Blackcap has one of the most energetic and beautiful songs of our summer migrants. I don’t normally hear my first of the year until 6th-9th April, so this individual was very early. He was even close enough to photograph. There were plenty of Chiffchaffs singing and some noisy, squabbling Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and good numbers of Peacock butterflies sunning themselves. The Little Grebes seemed to be in full breeding plumage & EVEN Mallards looked quite smart.

The Blackcap is a warbler, and if you are interested in trying to get good views of what many people seem to consider quite a difficult family, we will be spending quality time with at least 7 species of warbler next term. We will also be identifying any butterflies, mammals, dragonflies, flowers or fungi we encounter during our walks.

I’ve now begun to take bookings for next term. There are plenty of vacancies on Tuesday afternoons, and a few on Friday afternoons, but most of the other sessions are almost at capacity. If you want more details, please see the panel at the top right of this blog.

Here is what Pam Eldred, a relative newcomer to the course, says of the classes:

“Having had a life long interest in birds, I joined Michael’s class in September 2011. Initially I could not believe how little I actually knew, but during my time on the course my knowledge about bird recognition, habitat, behaviour etc. has increased amazingly along with my knowledge about wildlife in general. This has happened in a professional, relaxed atmosphere with a group of like minded people, at a wide variety of locations. We have FUN. I would recommend Michael’s course unreservedly”.

Blackcap - peeking through lots of twigs
Blackcap - almost a clear view
Little Grebe
Mallard [drake]
Marsh Frog

No comments: