Sunday March 26th 2017
The change to British Summer Time meant an ‘early start’ this morning, but it was well worth it and, as the sun rose the Lime trees were all bathed in a golden glow against a cloudless blue sky. With no wind either, it was a perfect day to be on the hill and the song of quieter species could be easily picked up. Notable amongst these then were at least 4 different singing Goldcrests in various conifer trees scattered across the hill. I didn’t hear any Treecreepers, another species with a soft call, but two Great spotted woodpeckers were drumming, and the Nuthatches were calling loudly.
The new sound for the month though was the distinctive two-note song of a Chiffchaff, and I easily located a single bird singing from the tree tops and moving all round the hill. Presumably, it is the first one back and either is an early Spring arrival or maybe it had overwintered close by as some of these migrants now do. Either way, it was the first bird for the survey records this year, though I heard one last weekend on the hill as I was walking past, and it will no doubt be joined by others in due course. The winter thrushes have all now departed, at least from the hill, though our three resident species (Mistle thrush, Song thrush and Blackbird) were all present.
The Rooks all well ahead with nest building, and I counted a total of 55 nests in construction, the majority in the main colony area above Ramoyle, with a further 9 above the main path and 8 in the trees on the south west edge above the Annex. The Jackdaws are also now occupying their usual nest holes in the larger trees above the path.
There were lots of Rabbits around, but no Grey squirrels this morning – maybe just not up yet, as there are enough in my garden already! Our resident Roe deer were out feeding up on the area of the old house where I was able to watch the three does accompanied by a single buck.
Image: Wikipedia. Andreas Trepke: “Common Chiffchaff” © CC-BY-SA 2.5