Saturday, 24 March 2012

Weaving with Cobwebs

It has been almost impossible over the last 3 weeks to go anywhere in the countryside and not locate a pair of Long-tailed Tits nest-building. These busy, charismatic little creatures are therefore given pride of place in this post. Scroll down to see the results of all their hard work!

Long-tailed Tit with bill full of Cobwebs
Long-tailed Tit - 'bitten' off more than it can chew?
Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit - nest-building

The Friday session ventured into South Yorkshire to a site they’d never visited before. Although we didn’t see anything really outstanding the participants were impressed with this new location. We did manage to see a brimstone, a Peacock and in the afternoon a Comma. The basking female Adder was a bonus for those who missed the 4 Adders the previous Friday. There were a pair of Mistle Thrushes in the paddock, but no sign of any early returning Wheatears or Ring Ouzels.

Adder [female]


On Thursday we travelled to the north wolds and the morning group saw one large Sparrowhawk displaying followed by 2 others. We also encountered a couple of Red Kites, and several Buzzards. Others birds seen included Green Woodpeckers, which may have ejected a Little Owl from its nest-hole, plus a Treecreeper, Mistle Thrushes, Marsh Tits and a very confiding Goldcrest.

Coal Tit

On Wednesday the groups walked the complete length of Flamborough Head. The morning group was rewarded with amazing close views of an acrobatic male raptor. Meanwhile the supermarket workers had been very busy since the previous week, as the shelves were now well stocked with Kittiwakes, Razorbills and to a lesser extent Guillemots. There were also many more Puffins than usual, probably because they had just returned to the cliffs, and weren’t hidden away incubating an egg. There were also plenty of small passerines including Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. The one spring migrant seen was a Wheatear among some WW2 buildings.


Herring Gulls (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Gannet & Gannet Cam (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
Gannets - about to part
Tree Sparrow

On Tuesday a few people turned up for Potteric Carr – the turnout was much better for the afternoon session than the one in the morning. The weather was excellent & wildlife was also pretty good with Tuesday’s 1st Brimstone, Peacock & Comma butterflies of the year, plus several singing Chiffchaffs. At least 2 pairs of Long-tailed Tits were seen nest-building & the bird feeding station was a lot quieter now that the weather has improved. A Grass Snake was spotted by both groups – this was my first ever at this site, but won’t be the last, as I now know where to look. Although Spring seemed to have finally sprung there was also a relic of winter - a single Whooper Swan was spotted by the afternoon group.

Great Spotted Woodpecker [male]
Bullfinch [male]
Grass Snake
Reed Bunting
Chaffinch [male]
Long-tailed Tit nest [9/3/12]
Long-tailed Tit nest [20/3/12]
Baby Rabbit
Canada Goose

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