Tuesday, 5 May 2020

3rd-4th May - The merits of patch watching

The start of May is a peak time for the migration of birds, and in normal times I would be on the coast in search of them. The lockdown has put a stop to this, but it means my patch (the village) is getting a lot more attention. Easy to see species at the coast are elevated to heart thumping levels here in the village.
   On the 3rd of May having finished on the allotment and about to stroll to the castle I looked up and was amazed to see a Short-eared owl flying low south then gaining height and heading west as a Crow started to mob it.
   Arriving at the Castle amid swarms of St Mark's flies I observed one different looking fly. Closer inspection revealed an Alder fly, its delicate lace like wings stunning when viewed close up. Alder flies are typically found near to water.  This is no surprise as they spend two years of their lives as nymphs underwater, emerging as adults at this time of year to mate and lay eggs on aquatic vegetation. The adult flies only live for a few days.
Alder fly
   Also down by the Castle I discovered a new flower for me. Nestled in the cracks and crevices of the walls the Rue-leaved saxifrage had made its home.
Rue-leaved saxifrage
   The 4th of May started and ended well. On awaking at 6am the first birds I saw as I opened the front door were two Arctic terns flying south over the cottage.  Three Common swifts lingering over the street and two Grey herons heading west were the other avian highlights of the day.
   The good ending came at 9.30pm with the sights and sounds of three Tawny owls perched on telegraph poles opposite the cottage.
Sun burst through the clouds

No comments:

Post a Comment