"For now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see" Neutral Milk Hotel.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Monday February 24th: Bittern, Tree Sparrow and Cetti's Warbler (and some more wind)

Early morning in the harbour again today, but nothing unexpected. Fed up with the wind, I decided to take a walk along a sheltered track - lots of Seven Spot Ladybirds out in the bright sun - and then to spend an hour or two in the Downs. Nuthatch and Treecreeper were calling with many other birds but a 300+ strong mixed finch flock feeding in some game crop adjacent to the woods was a real highlight. Whilst the flock contained a small number of Chaffinches, it appeared to be split pretty evenly between Greenfinch, Linnet and Brambling - many of the latter now starting to sport their summer plumage. A quick check of the scrub at the west end of the dunes revealed a Tree Sparrow which landed in the bushes briefly before heading off west. Elsewhere, a Bittern was on show for an hour as it hunted amongst the reedmace and reeds at the edge of a small reedebed. As a female Marsh Harrier flew right over its head, it assumed the characteristic alarm posture for a few seconds. A Cetti's Warbler foraged nearby at the base of a bush in the reeds and a Water Rail also performed admirably.

Red Dead Nettle, Peddar's Way, 24th February

Dandelion, Peddar's Way, 24th February

Ivy, Peddar's Way, 24th February

Seven-spot Ladybird, Peddar's Way, 24th February

Snowdrops, Ringstead Downs, 24th February

Common Field Speedwell, Ringstead Downs, 24th February

Sweet Violet, Holme NWT, 24th February

Bittern, Holme NWT, 24th February

Hairy Bittercress, Ringstead east cliffs, 24th February 

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