Signs of Spring
April 12 2015
Spring has definitely sprung , despite the daffodils being about 3 weeks late, with huge Bumble bees and early butterflies in the garden. We have had dozens of Sand Martins cris-crossing the surface of the lake for a good 3 weeks now, and our lovely couple from Liverpool, Michelle and Michael, saw the newly returned Ospreys at Foulshaw Moss yesterday. So, hopefully, we will get some great views of them fishing in the lake again this year. Talking of the lake, there are a pair of Great Crested Grebes gracing it with their presence presently – such a delight to watch their intricate courtship routines – but not sure if they will be nesting in the reeds. Also there are often two Cormorants keeping station on the top of a large Scots Pine. Had a first glimpse of a male Marsh Harrier today – will see if a mate turns up. Our Kestrels seem to have been replaced by a pesky Sparrow Hawk, which has spotted the bird feeding stations. Very impressive with its dive bombing, but don’t like it stealing our Willow Tits !! The first Swallows have now arrived, which is always a sign of Summer being round the corner. Here’s hoping we have another corker, like last year
Something to Crow about
October 26 2014
I was idling in the garden this week when I became aware that a couple of Crows were making a bit of a noise in the field below the house. I then realised their attention was focused on a Kestrel trying to hunt.
At first I thought the Crows were just trying to get rid of the raptor. However, following a few unsuccessful hoverings, the Kestrel dropped to the ground on to a little critter. At this point, one of the Crows flew off its perch in the dead oak tree and crash landed on the Kestrel. Kestrel flew up, but without its prey and the Crow waddled about a bit before also flying back to its perch.
The whole episode was repeated, twice and on the third time, I realised what the Crows were up to – they were waiting for the Kestrel to be successful, and ended up stealing a meal from the Kestrel !!
Well, what a fabulous year we have had. Perhaps the best summer in the 26 years we have been here, a gorgeous early Spring, the warmest winter on record and none of the rain which afflicted the south. Not only an excellent year for visitors, but the best fruit crop we have ever known. Wonder if we will have a hard winter to compensate ?
The Harriers and Ospreys all produced chicks this year, so it was good news all round. Otherwise, there was nothing particularly notable in the bird world this year.
Roll on winter !