Sunday, 15 March 2009

Bunting, Brimstone, Bee-Fly and Bittern

A yomp around the 'Down failed to find SteveR's mystery bunting, but turned up the very light bird again (see here for the last pic, which I reckoned was a Yellowhammer). Now, however, it can be seen that it's got a thin bill so goodness knows what it is. Any comments on these birds would be greatly appreciated (and yes, we know they are most likely to be deviant Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit respectively).
It was a glorious early spring day, and although it brought no martins or swallows to these parts, many chaffinches flew over or sang from bushes.
The warm weather brought a Bee-Fly to the garden, as well as a couple of Commas which chased away an itinerant Brimstone on the frequent occasions that it flew through. I was pleased that the Bee-Fly visited each of the flowering plants that I'd just planted, especially chosen for their bee-friendly blooms.
In the evening I visited Stodmarsh, to see the expected flight of Bitterns from the reedbeds. Apparently this time of the year they fly up at dusk, and head off east, possibly on their way back to Europe after overwintering.
Only one was seen this time, flying east calling 'Wack.....wack'. Impressive photo, isn't it?


NW Nature Nut said...

Excellent sunset and the Bee Fly is neat-o!

Greenie said...

Steve ,
I realise it will upset the 'Bs' seen yesterday , but have you considered Lapland Bunting for your light bird with the 2 Yellowhammers .
In answer to your refugia question , KRAG put down 1 felt and 1 corrugated tin at each site .On Fackenden Down , monitors were placed under some pairs , one one month , then the other the next , to see which the reptiles preferred and under what conditions . I am waiting to hear the results . Krag are also now experimenting with corrugated plastic which seem to warm up quicker than tin , but suffer from condensation in the early part of the day . The tin seems to heat up quicker than the felt but the felt seems to retain the heat longer in my experience . Siting is also important , usually layed on the edge of cover , not out in the open . Hope this makes sense and is useful .

Mary said...

A B-utiful day from start to finish, apparently. Sorry about the bad pun. I always like the fact that you appreciate what you see, even if you don't get a good photo each time. I get so keyed to the photography that I forget to just enjoy what I'm looking at sometimes.

Kingsdowner said...

NWNN - the BeeFly is indeed cute - in other parts of the world it would probably eveolved into a bloodsucker!

Greenie - thanks for that. We thought about a Lapland, but it doesn't seem to fit.
I'll try some corrugated plastic and see how it goes.

Mary - ouch!
Re the photo, it was nearly dark and I was pleased to get any pic.

Ruth The Wildlife Gardener said...

I leave rotavators well alone, Steve. They chop up worms. Have you been tempted to join Twitter yet?

Kingsdowner said...

Ruth, I believe that worms can also propogate by division (even if involuntary!)

I have to admit that the subtleties of Twitter hve passed me by....I'll investigate if you think it's worthwhile

Ruth The Wildlife Gardener said...

Afraid the chopped up worm thing is a myth - they just die!

I thought Twitter wd be a waste of time but it's oddly addictive. Unfortunately means more time in front of the computer and away from the natural world, tho.

Errol said...

Your light bird checks out as a 'light' Meadow Pipit; there are lots on the move at the moment.

Stewart said...

Hi Steve, your light bird is a part leucistic Meadow Pipit. I have seen this on one occasion but it is certainly a rare phenomenon. As for the Bunting...