In the face of a fairly chilly north east wind this morning disappointment met my eye as I reached the cemetery. The beautiful carpet of Primroses and Sweet Violets had been replaced by furrows of mulch as the Council, heavy handed as ever, once again mowed the grass. Just one week, that's all it needed and the flowers would have 'gone over' leaving them free to do their work. To make matters worse there was little in the way of birdlife up to and including the whole of the Radipole Reserve, save for a singing Blackcap in residence as last year.
However, the disaster at the cemetery was to be redressed at Lodmoor, where I arrived to find a high flying Raven right overhead. Making for the north west corner I discovered the two recently erected lines of fence post leading from the moor up to Horselynch Copse, are a forerunner of another wildlife project. It seems the area shown above, at present barely walkable due to the irresponsible dog walked, is to become a Wild Flower Refuge. I know no more than that at present but will keep readers informed of any progress.
On the main body of the moor it appeared that the Green and Common Sandpiper had been with the distant Redshank above, while an undetermined number of Bearded Tits were 'pinging' in a nearby reed-bed.
The northern perimeter produced the most action today with the bird above being just one of the 2 or 300 Sand Martins which were noted flying in from seaward, in company with
a few Swallow and my first House Martin of the year which was far too mobile to photograph. Several of the Swallows stopped to preen on telephone wire, as I watch from below thinking it was likely African dust or mites they were cleaning out?
I had got to the point of leaving when a pair of Marsh Harriers seemed to appear from nowhere and commence quartering the reeds. What a sight that makes with one looking like a juvenile male and the other, which didn't stay long, an adult female.Marsh Harrier
and this Magpie making up the trio of tightrope walkers.