Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring is busting out all over

Check out the video first
Monday 5March. Went checking the newborn lambs on Cuerden. Buzzard over scramble track, mistle thrushes getting together in pairs, all ponds heaving with frog spawn, lesser celandine in abundance. OOPS. There was a power cut just as I finished writing that last sentence. I could not do anything on my laptop so I went to Brockholes. Warm sunshine skylarks singing, magpies pairing up, oystercatchers calling and flying over with a curlew bubbling its call all combined to give the day an early spring feel to it. There was a knot and a ringed plover on No 1 pit and a few tree sparrows, goldfinch, blue tits and great tits on the feeding station. The blaze of yellow flowers that also mark spring were also in evidence. I saw primrose, lesser celandine, hedge mustard and colt's foot.

As I entered Boilton Wood another colour caught my eye. It was a hint of blue. A small number of bluebells, just at the entrance to the wood were emerging in the afternoon sunshine. I look forward to when they look like the second photo in this selection

I needed to buy some new waterproof trousers so on Friday March 9 I went to the Freeport at Fleetwood. It also happened to be high tide. I saw about 40 sanderlings and 6 turnstones. 
On Sat 10 March I went to Heswall on the Wirral for a walk on the edge of the Dee estuary. It was part of a weekend at St Mary's Upton where Peter and Miranda Harris were visiting for the weekend. I arrived early since I thought we started at 10 rather than 10.30. Skylarks singing and curlews giving their unique call were a taste of what was to come. There seemed to be quite a large gathering from St Mary's with other visitors from Altrincham and Crosby. Our initial walk was towards Parkgate and although at that time birds seemed shy, I did notice a few flowers announcing that spring really is here. Coltsfoot, lesser celandine, blackthorn, daffodil, speedwell, fumitory and a "life tick" for me, Alexanders, photographed using my phone.

 We also had to carefully avoid stepping on a seven spotted ladybird. A warm day was made even brighter as a small tortoiseshell butterfly fluttered past. We did not quite get to Parkgate but the bird life was excellent. Harlequin ladybird was one creature that we were disappointed to see. No-one saw all the birds but members of our party saw the following: Shelduck, teal, mallard, wigeon, kestrel, buzzard, hen harrier, crow, redshank, meadow pipit, cormorant, black-headed gull, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, little egret, short eared owl and right at the end of our walk a single peregrine perched on a post gave wonderful views through the telescope. Not only was it a superb day, but it brought my total to 235
I also passed Ted Jackson the chair of trustees for Lancs WT on the walk. To see him and be with the founder of A Rocha was a reminder of the beneficiaries of my challenge. Don't forget to use the Just Giving link


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