Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Spring Strumpshaw Spectacles

It's official. Spring is here! The swallows, house martins and sand martins told me so at Strumpshaw Fen today. It wasn't only members of the Hirundinidae family we saw either, the marsh harriers were out in full force, as were some common lizards that appeared out of nowhere. You can see all of the species we spotted in my diary entry here, along with a couple of sketches for #dabday (Draw A Bird Day) today.

It was beautiful, if breezy day, and as I was a with a friend who had not been to the reserve before, we had a long stomp about, down all of the possible paths and visited both hides. There seemed to be marsh harriers in whichever direction we looked; often with at least four in the sky at any one time. One was carrying something around in his talons whilst we were watching, possibly nesting material. Even though you're almost guaranteed to see them here, today was spectacular for views of them in flight.

One of the marsh harriers

Pair of marsh harriers circling
Our other surprise finds of the day were three common lizards hiding on a little track, two of which gave us enough time to take a few shots!

Common lizard basking in the sunshine
In the woods we also saw two nuthatch clambering up two trees, another first for the year for me. There were also several pairs of great crested grebe on the water. It is amazing the difference that only a few weeks can make; last time I was here, it was cold, muddy, wet, and although still a beautiful place, very brown. Today, it was bright, green and had that beautiful earthy and boggy smell wherever we went. The birds were all in full song too, even if they didn't always show themselves. There were even a few bluebells starting to show their nodding heads. I think our next visit will have to be the ancient woodland of Foxley Woods to see the carpets of bluebells. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they are as spectacular as last year!

Blue tit update:

As of Monday 7th April, this was the progress made by the blue tits in their nest!

No comments:

Post a Comment