Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Lockdown Days 12/13/14/15

It was my birthday on Saturday and so I took a step back from birding and nocturnal recording this weekend to spend some quality time with Dazza. Despite our birthday plans being scuppered, It was a very enjoyable one with a couple of long towpath walks, actually recording our first House Martin of year in the process.

My first Grass Snake during Monday's walk ~ Not this one though, taken a few years back! 
🌧⛅️15C ~ Wind ↙SSW@11mph Monday 6th April 2020 ~ Showers overnight and a stiff breeze prevented me from completing a nocmig last night. My usual walk from the marina through to Napton Reservoir produced my first Willow Warbler of the year, plus a Green Woodpecker addition to my 'Lockdown List'. There was little change at the Reservoir despite the now southerly breeze and a few butterflies were noted in the shaded areas: Brimstone, (3) Peacock and (2) Small Tortoiseshell. The highlight of the day came along the towpath when a rustling within the vegetation alerted me to my first Grass Snake of the year, the backend of which I saw disappearing into the undergrowth.

In the evening I spent time on the pontoon with Dazza and her Bat detector and we did manage to pick up a couple of Pipperstrelle during a half-hour session. I also managed to sight one of the many Starlink satellites which passed almost directly overhead this evening but unfortunately, the bright moon washed the others out!

Common Scoters over the mooring ~ The pass took over a minute to complete
☀️17C ~ Wind ↘SSE@7mph Tuesday 7th April 2020 ~ It was another excellent Nocmig last night with two Common Scoter soundings, the first around midnight and this particular flock were probably the best thus far. Just (9) Redwing + Golden Plover, Snipe, Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Little Grebe, a patrolling Lapwing for most of the session and an insomniac Woodpigeon.

Year first Common Sandpiper at Napton Reservoir 
I was hopeful when I set off on my walk to Napton Reservoir today that there might be a few more arrivals and by the time I got to the water's edge, I'd recorded two Willow Warblers and a Blackcap. A quick peek from below the steps before heading up the bank found the now resident three Snipe feeding on the reedbed shallows but inevitably I flushed them as I stepped up. I also flushed my first Common Sandpiper of the year No. 69 on my 'Lockdown List'.

This Common Buzzard had the pulse racing as it flew towards me from distance.
Despite a pleasant walk in the warmth no further new additions to the Sandpiper, but two Red Kite, now seen daily over the area and an interesting Common Buzzard were highlights. Amazingly, not a single Hirundine to be seen today. Butterflies in the early warmth: (5) Brimstone, (7) Peacock & (5) Small Tortoiseshell.

Peregrine over the marina
A few sessions of Vismig during the afternoon from the deck included more Common Buzzards and a passing Peregrine.