Friday, 17 April 2020

Lockdown Special Blog Part1

Date: 
21st March and 7th April
Location: 
Garden and Patch (the UK on Lockdown)
Weather: 
Blue Skies, Warm (Typical In'it!)
Species Highlights: 
everything a highlight
Observation: 
The UK was put on a nationwide lockdown due to Coronavirus on 23rd March 2020, therefore this blog will be a Patch and Garden special.

Our first Chiffchaff of the year arrived.



Our resident Whooper Swan was still present on the Top Lake.


As of 16/04/2020, we have had 6 Red Kites sighted over the patch, a bumper number as 2019 we only had 2 for the whole year!


Another Patch walk, the last day before total lockdown, and this time a new patch tick, with Top Lake being closed still due to dam works, we had distant views of what we thought to be a Common Sandpiper, but after a few shots, it turns out it was a Green Sandpiper, a first for Patch! It stayed for 8 days before moving on when the Lake was re-filled.



Walking up through the Uni woodland, we saw this Stock Dove searching for a potential nest site.


A stunner of a bird and birds we normally hear rather than see, with its call, to me sounds like a dog barking.


With boredom already setting in, Dad made a moth trap and bird hide for the garden.




The hide worked well we a few birds using it to feed, first birds from the new hide.
Goldfinch



Long-Tailed tits



A pair of Dunnocks, we didn't even know we had dunnocks in the garden.



Chaffinch being very vocal, with their distinctive whistle call.


Not liking spiders much I spent the day with my macro lens finding all the small stuff.

Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura mirabilis



Jumping Spider- Pseudeuophrys Lanigera


Tadpoles, as normal 100's in our pond.


It's amazing when you look closer at everyday bugs & Insects, a different world.


This bug we couldn't ID until we realised it was from the pond....a Water Boatman.


Flea Beetle- Altica lythri


Coccinellidae or Ladybirds this a 7 spot, who knew there were 47 in the family.


For a change of scenery, we did a short /exercise (allowed) patch walk, out to NSL Village.   



Just above Bath Mill, we heard the Gulls making a lot of noise, as we turned around we saw a Peregrine being mobbed, a new Patch tick for this year.



 The weather has been spectacular since the lockdown, typical!


A second-year tick of the day, a pair of Yellowhammers have returned, hopefully, they stick and have a successful breeding season, can you spot them both?


A 3rd year tick for the Patch was  Barn Swallow, a week earlier than last year, numbers are slowly rising and had a maximum of 5 birds so far, hopefully up to 20-30 by the end of April.


We've also noticed a Badger visiting us, maybe 2.


It's not just Badgers visiting Lesser Black-Backed Gull, and many cats even a passing Fox.



One of the challenges is ID'ing all the species we've come across, this a Red Mason Bee, I made a Bee hotel( fizzy bottles with sticks, wood drilled, easy) This chap or lass moved in, soon filling holes back up with mud, I guess eggs/lavas inside.



The Jumping spider becoming my favourite thing to photograph, size is around 5mm, so pretty small!


Another Ladybird this a 22-Spot Ladybird - Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata a longer Latin name than this 2/4mm bug.



Dunnock still visiting my hide, I'm still getting perches sorted going for the perfect background



Still more spiders to be found, false widow and this Platnickina Tincta , money spider species, finger for scale.




On an exercise walk just up to Seven-acre amazed to find this fresh Painted Lady, just to remind me that butterfly season is in full swing!



A pied Sheildbug


Butterflies getting much more frequent now with Comma along the brook.


Walking over the Brook spotted another species of Jumping spider this the Zebra Jumping spider and with its much bigger lunch, ferocious!


Tonight was a Blood Full moon, not much evidence of the red bit but a spectacle to see.



Another day another exercise Walk this time out to Bath Spa and Great to see a few more Barn swallow arriving.


Snake's Head Fritillary almost coming to there end of the season, but still a great plant to see, if you know where to look.


Back towards home this Wren, Britains loudest bird, it seems even louder now there is no traffic noise, was singing its heart out, oblivious I was stood right by him!


Chiffchaff in Cherry Blossom always the best place to take its picture.


With Grey Wagtail on the brook for the 4th year in a row, hopefully breeding again.
I'll leave this blog here, next one an update on the moths I've managed to collect from my traps.



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