Thursday, 31 March 2011

Chiffy and tadpoles

Wednesday 30 March 2011
At long last the Chiff Chaff has arrived at the Watercress Beds but that was probably the only bird of note amongst the 79 individuals of 19 species seen.  I've not seen a Water Rail for about a week - gone?  The frogspawn in the sunken bath has now produced a number of freeswimming tadpoles.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Quiet Battle Fm Survey

Monday 28 March 2011
I think I chose the wrong day for this survey as it was cloudy and dull whereas the previous week or so has been glorious.  Just 209 individuals of 29 species.  Only 1 warbler, a Chiff Chaff and that wasn't singing.  5 Yellowhammers and a couple of Grey partridges were the best of the day and just a single Butterfly, a Peacock nectaring on Blackthorn.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Brambling still

Sunday 27 March 2011
Brambling in the garden this morning - a female this time.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Thursday 24 March 2011
A rapid pass through Ewelme trying to catch up with a Watercress beds Chiff Chaff failed but I added Peacock to the butterfly list and this rather magnificent Major Bee Fly (Bombylius major) - seem to be quite a number of them about on the site.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Chiff Chaff at last

Wednesday 23 March 2011
I was trying to see how long I could go without encountering a Chiff Chaff but my wait finally came to an end today when 1 was singing down at Millbrook Mead - also a Peacock (butterfly) there which was my first of the year.  A quick count of the butterflies on the Watercress Beds gave 7 Small Tortoiseshells, 4 Brimstones and a Comma.
Frogspawn in the bath is near to hatching.

And finally - in a small patch at the bottom of my alottment measuring about 2m by 3m I counted 25 seven spot ladybirds. I make that 29 spots to the square metre!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Benson & Ewelme

Monday 21 March 2011
A male Brambling while eating breakfast was a good start to the day.
Then emptied the moth trap that was in the garden overnight.  Not particularly inspiring with only 4 individuals but at least I was able to ID them and release them without spending the whole day at it.  The sum total was a Hebrew Character, 2 Common Quakers and an Early Grey (pictured).
I followed up with a couple of hours down the alottment where a Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell were seen.
Over to Ewelme in the afternoon where almost a repeat of the morning with another Brambling, another Brimstone and another Small Tortoiseshell.  Signs (dropping) of Hedgehog in the garden.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Benson Garden

Sunday 20 march 2011
Female Blackcap in the garden this morning. I had not seen it since 14th and thought it might have gone.  I have not seen the male for about 10 days so suspect that has gone.  Do the males migrate before the females - seems quite likely as they will need to start setting up territories.  Trouble is the summer migrants will be getting mixed up with the overwinterers - still I very rarely get breeding Blackcaps in the garden so shouldn't be problems.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Saturday 19 march 2011
Still no migrants! Four water Rails and a Brambling best of the day.  Good show of violets, both white and normal.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Brambling at Ewelme

Thursday 17 March 2011

A quick trip to the Watercress beds this morning in the gloom before the sunshine produced 2 each of Brambling, Water Rail and Grey Wagtail.  The latter displaying noisely to one another.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dorchester WeBS Count - March

Tuesday 15 march 2011

I set out this morning full of hope of adding to my year list which has been remarkably static recently.  Would it be a Sand Martin? a Wheatear? a Little Ringed Plover?  a Chiff Chaff? None of these but a group of 3 Oystercatchers flew over my head piping away and a little later a Redshank appeared being harassed by a Crow.  I also added number three to my Butterfly list - a Comma flew up from in front of me to settle in a Willow tree to nectar on the pollen.

Still over 200 wigeon and Tufted Ducks counted so they don't think it is spring yet.

Monday, 14 March 2011

First Ewelme butterfly

Monday 14 march 2011

My first butterfly of the Cress Beds and although I would have predicted a Brimstone it was, in fact, a Small Tortoiseshell.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Sunday 13 march 2011
Not much to report though still 4 Water Rails present on the beds and the female Blackcap and female Brambling in the garden.  I won't believe it is spring until that little lot leaves.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Ewelme & 1st garden Butterfly

Monday 7 march 2011
A cold, bright and sunny morning with some warmth in the sun as the morning went on.  29 bird species including 2 Water Rails, 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers and a Green Sandpiper plus a flypast of a pair of Canada Geese.  The first of the Coltsfoot (feet?) are showing though not completely open whilst I was there.  I wonder if the frogspawn will survive the frost?

It really must be spring as a Brimstone flew past the window as I was eating my lunchtime sandwich.  Although the title suggests it was the first garden butterfly it was my first anywhere!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Tuesday 1 March 2011
Yet another check round Ewelme and, again, 24 species seen but a very different 24 species compared to last time.  First Green Sandpiper since January, 1st Blackcap and Long-tailed Tit since last November and 1st Treecreeper since August 2006.  2 Water Rails seen - it will be interesting to see when they decide to leave us.