Sunday, 16 March 2014

She Love Me, She Loves Me Not.

After I'd filled up the feeders in the garden I got a call from Jack to say there was an extraordinary number of Red Kites moving along the coast. Details of the Bockhill Birders observations are on the KOS site.

Although I'd missed a group of 10 I did see at least three of the golf course and several, in the other direction towards the lighthouse. It was a very good morning for raptors, and I saw five other species, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard, as well as two Short-eared Owls.We were also treated to a run past of a very lively Weasel and good views of at least one Harbour Porpoise . A thoroughly enjoyable migration watch, in warm weather.

Buff-tailed Bumblebees are plentiful at the moment, but this large, dark bee looked like something different.

I think it as a Red-tailed bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius,and probably as queen as it was a large beast. I haven't mowed the lawn, or cut any edges, so there are a lot of flowers for it to use, including the Red-dead Nettle.

A lot of Butterfly were on the wing today. This Small Tortoiseshell took advantage of my non cutting regime to use the flowers of Germander Speedwell in the grass. Unfortunately the Brimstones that were brightening the air waves did not settle for a second, before fluttering away.

The grass is now full of daisies, a bit late for the valentines game of "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not", This seems a pretty widespread game, e.g. in Finnish it is " "Rakastaa...ei rakasta" in Spanish  "Me quiere... no me quiere" or "Me ama... no me ama" both mean the same, while the romantic German might say "Sie liebt mich... Sie liebt mich nicht".

I've noticed several large flocks of Starlings around in the last few days, and there are more coming to the garden at the moment. They always enjoy a bathe and take over the bird bath and waterfall while they indulge..

The most numerous bird in the garden this week has been the Chaffinch, with counts well over 50 on lots of occasions. Many seem to rely on the Goldfinches and Greenfinches to spill more seed than they eat, as there have regularly been 30-40 on the ground below the feeders, while they spend much less time actually on the feeders themselves.

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