Thursday, 17 March 2016

Taming of the Shrew - William Shakespeare

Well, the Moths are starting to trickle in and while early days yet for any excitement or surprises, it's a start. With a settled easterly airflow, nicely countered by a ray or two of sunshine, we here at PCF have not yet recorded our first 'true' migrant bird unlike elsewhere, but they will soon be here as sure as "eggs is eggs (and aching men's feet)" - Genesis!
 From top clockwise
COMMON RUSTIC, CLOUDED DRAB
and  HEBREW CHARACTER
 the 'Drab' added to the Year List,
and 2 variations of 
COMMON QUAKER
 EARLY GREY
 our 6th new Macro Moth of the year.
 In addition on Sunday night an
EARLY BUMBLEBEE
video
strayed into one of the traps and was docile enough in
the morning to be committed to both 'still' and 'video'.
For me at least it is a 'rare day' when we get to see 
ALL THREE
resident Woodpecker so, something of a highlight to start the week.
 Merritown Heath and associate woodland comprises some 1000 acres
which is where the search began on Sunday with no surprises when
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER
was first of them to enter the day log,
but already there this year
 LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER
has been seen and heard 'drumming', by others, at the eastern most perimeter, so
where better to start the search than there for the smaller of the 3? 
Here too is an industrial estate and a rifle range, with the latter only usually 
active on a Sunday so it was considered the early start which contributed to bringing
this little beauty to book.
video
LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER
Fast forward to much later in the day and there was a
 GREEN WOODPECKER
on the tennis court an often favoured feeding spot.
Being already on the Heath it was considered best to undertake the usual track
in reverse order which meant the next stop would be to check the
Trail Cameras.
Some very strange early morning activity from this
young buck
ROE DEER
video
which seemed to have taken exception, maybe to the infra red light,
or the whole camera in general. Whatever generated its dissatisfaction
he gave the unit 5 almighty clouts with his newly sprung antlers.
Nothing else, so onward to investigate the more wide open areas where
there appeared to have been an overnight 'fall' of 
 STONECHAT
Mostly vocal, there were at least c8 in total which included an all too flighty
pristine adult male, never to be seen again!
Also in full song (great what a little sunshine can do) were
 MEADOW PIPIT
 along with
 c3
DARTFORD WARBLER
All else there included a very distant
KESTREL
absent now for over 2 weeks and again the previously reported BLISS Helicopter. Looked today as if he has been given the word as to be fair he didn't invade Merritown airspace! With just the continuing presence of the Green Sandpiper and Siberian Chiffchaff at the Sewerage Works and no more than singles of Coot, Gadwall (male) and Mallard (male) at the 2 ponds, it was thought worth doing a Post Winter check under the corrugated sheets. Immediately it was evident that the Common (Smooth) Newts had returned to the water, but there was interest enough in other directions.
 RODENT EARTHWORKS
 RODENT NEST
 along with an extremely rapid moving
COMMON SHREW
 a 'first' for the Recording Area, which almost
escaped the lens.
That Great Rate of Knots likely accounts for the fact that these small
Rodents rarely see the end of their second year on Earth.
Another 'first for the year' yesterday's
RED ADMIRAL
this at the Sewerage Works while later in the day there was a 'White'
of sorts at Harbins but all too flighty to get an ID.
and finally one for the Irish on St Patrick's Day
 Come On You Paddy's Bless 'Em!
(supplied by our Ol' Mate Willie Wine who shares his name with our headline)
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