March 2015 gave us the wettest March since 2002 –see weather report at the end – but then bad weather usually means good birds to be seen, and this March was no exception.
78 species were seen in the Alcossebre area in March 2015.
No new species were added to the Alcossebre list this March.
There were first of the year records for three species Common Shelduck, Short-eared Owl and Common Raven.
There were first spring records for 19 species Purple Heron, Great White Egret, White Stork, Osprey, Black Kite, Montagu´s Harrier, Common Crane, Little Ringed Plover, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Subalpine Warbler, Common Nightingale, Common Redstart, and Blue-headed Wagtail.
Highlights of the month.
Three Common Shelduck flying south west over the sea on the 30th March was the 12th record for Alcossebre.
Apart from a few local birds a total of 1576 Great Cormorants passed through this month.
In stark contrast only one Northern Gannet was seen!
A total of 67 Grey Herons passed through with a peak of 20 birds on the 13th March.
The first Purple Heron of spring flew east over the sea on the 16th March.
The first Great White Egret flew east over the sea on the 20th March.
The first White Stork of spring was seen on the 28th March, followed by 32 flying NE on the 29th March.
The first Osprey was seen on the 30th March, flying east inland.
Six Black Kites flying east inland on the 28th March were the first this spring.
The first Montagu´s Harrier of spring was seen on the 3rd, an early date for here.
A total of 22 Marsh Harriers passed through this month with a maximum of six birds on the 26th March.
That was the same day the only Booted Eagle of the month was seen.
90 Common Cranes flying NE on the 4th March were the first this spring, always a great sight.
Two Stone Curlews appeared in the ´magic field´on the 28th March, the only record this month.
The first spring Little Ringed Plover popped up at the coast on the 23rd March.
Black-headed Gulls turn up here all the year round in quite small numbers, so I was surprised to count a total of 223 birds flying SW on the 30th March!
Another surprise on the 26th March occurred when I was scanning the sea and a bird being mobbed by gulls, as it got closer to the coast I saw it was a Short-eared Owl! Only my third record here.
The first Pallid Swift of spring appeared on the 22nd March.
Alpine Swifts are usually the first Swifts to appear in spring, so I was pleased to see three flew east on the 24th March. Two days later on the 26th a total of 49 birds flew east the highest total in 13 years!
Four Common Ravens flying east on the 28th March were the first this year.
Nine Sand Martins flew east on the 14th March were the first this spring.
A total of 230 Barn Swallows passed through this month, after the first appeared on the 8th March.
The first House Martins appeared on the 10th March.
Penduline Tits passed through on the 9th (4 birds) and the 12th (one bird) all in Capycorp lagoon.
The last of the wintering Cetti´s Warbler was seen on the 12th March.
The first Willow Warbler of spring arrived on the 16th March, with a peak of 9 birds on the 31st March.
Wintering Blackcaps numbers were averaged about five birds, so 36 birds on the 28th March meant they were passage birds.
The first Common Whitethroat of spring arrived on the 28th March.
The last of the wintering Dartford Warblers were seen on the 8th March.
The first Subalpine Warbler of spring – a fine male – turned up at the sewage pond on the 26th March.
I had the earliest spring record of Common Nightingale at the sewage pond on the 31st March.
The first Common Redstart of spring appeared on the 24th March.
The first Blue-headed Wagtails of spring appeared on the 29th March.
The last of the wintering Grey Wagtails were seen on the 10th March in my garden.
Only single Cirl and Rock Buntings were seen this month.
The last wintering Reed Bunting was seen on the 26th March.
As well as wintering Corn Buntings – peak of 22 birds – up to four were declaring intent to breed by singing? Their unique song.
The last of the wintering Common Chaffinches were seen on the 29th March.
Goldfinches and Serins were all singing and displaying as the wintering birds had moved on.
However wintering Linnets were still showing good numbers – with up to 83 birds counted.
Alcossebre weather in March 2015.
March 2015 will be long remembered for the winds and the amount of rain we got – the most rain since March 2002!
We had almost a years rain in one month – who said Monsoon!
Temperature wise it was not too bad, as long as you were out of the wind.
Average day temperature was 19C 66F.
Highest day temperature was 28 C ( 82F) on the 31st.
Lowest day temperature was 12 C (53F) on the 22nd.
Average night temperature was 11c (51F).
Highest night temperature was 18C (64F) on the 31st.
Lowest night temperature was 5C (41F) on the 17th.
Total rainfall was 9.6 inches ( 245 mm) over 8 days.
Heaviest rainfall on the 22nd with 4.5 inches (116 mm).