Tuesday, 17 March 2020

A certain feel of Spring in the air....

There were moments at the weekend where it almost felt the Winter was past, but then five minutes later and it was back. The weekend weather has been grim the last few weeks, I really haven't felt much like hunting for small beasts and the opportunity to put moth traps out has been nil.

The week started in a grim manner with an ermine Stoat seen carrying an Orkney Vole across the road in front of the car as I drove to work. More optomistic at the beginning of this week with a frog leaping across the road in the night, heading for The Shunan, or Para Shun. I've seen two frogs heading in that direction this year so I suspect that some breeding may be taking place there. This is only the second year I've seen frogs on the site, the first three records were last year. Another good sighting this week was a pair of Pintail on the Shunan, from the car as I headed to work.

On Thursday and Friday some fields were ploughed so there were huge numbers of gulls and Lesser Black-backs appeared in some numbers. Saturday's walk in the afternoon produced a smart female Merlin.

Distant Merlin

On Sunday the Spring feeling was there with Skylark singing, Redshank and Lapwing displaying, Curlew staking out territory, Moorhen on site, Song Thrush singing (four of these species were firsts for the year). The Linnet flock had split with 30 or so still in the crop field but 50 odd just outwith the garden, feeding behind the trees. Pink-feet are on the move with a few hundred up the hill, behind the house, three or four in the immediate fields and the occasional small flock flying over.


The Rooks were disturbed all last week as the Hydro were putting the last touches to the 3-phase installation for next door and putting our supply underground. This may secure our supply a little better, although it is on poles until it gets to hal a mile from us. No Rooks seen collecting sticks yet.

Older daughter arrived home on Sunday, earlier than expected as GSA called a reading week and there was no food in the shops in central Glasgow. 

Saturday's walk revealed these prints in fresh mud.


Pheasant and Stoat

It's a long time since I've seen an Otter in the flesh on the patch, I need to get out earlier maybe.

On Sunday I headed to the coast for a bit of a wander with the hound. Not much to show for it, but pleasant enough. The Snow Bunts appear to have disappeared.

 Mute Swans


Mute Swans on the sea, Birsay.

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