Tuesday 14th April 2015.
Some sea fog was rolling in on the south side of the Cemy.
Spring is now in full swing, with some very interesting birds being seen all along our south coast. Pied Flycatchers were in Southampton and Titchfield Haven yesterday, while the Pagham Harbour area held Black-winged Stilt (Siddlesham Ferry Pool), Grasshopper Warbler and Whinchat. Back in Hampshire, a Ring Ouzel was flushed at Woolmer Pond.
A bit quieter this morning, probably due to the sea fog rolling in from the Solent yet again. The usual moths were present this morning by the moth box (none in the box!), though Early Greys had increased to four individuals. This morning, I took Scruff for a walk around Highland Road Cemetery. The weather was nice and sunny, though cold due to the sea fog which drifted over occasionally, whilst the sound of foghorns from the ships in the Solent could clearly be heard. It is reported to be the hottest day of the year today, so the sea fog should be gone by the afternoon.
The female Sparrowhawk flying low over the houses.
I bumped into Pompey Naturalist, Brian (no idea what his surname is, sorry) within the Cemy, who kindly showed me photos of last year’s Sparrowhawks that nested in the Cemy. He has a hand held video camera, which he uses to film his sightings and this photos (which he showed on his ipad) were amazing. Plus, some other photos from previous visits to various places. He then showed me exactly where the Sparrowhawks nested and also the tree where the Green Woodpecker excavated a hole for nesting, but unfortunately, a mate was not found.
Red Mason Bee in my garden.
I was hoping for at least one migrant today within the Cemy, but had to make do with the unusual sighting of a Coal Tit instead. They are rare here within the Cemy. I first heard the bird high up in the Oak Tree then saw it fly from branch to branch before disappearing east. A Chiffchaff was heard calling in the north of the Cemy but I couldn’t find the bird. Brian and I were just talking about the Sparrowhawks, when, suddenly, the male bird flew in and landed in Oaks between the Holm Oaks. We saw the bird well, but too quick for a photo, as it flew off. However, the female bird soon appeared but drifted off north over the houses.
Melanistic form of Two-spotted Ladybird.
Other sightings in the Cemy included a Stock Dove high up in the Chestnut trees and flyover Mipits and Linnets. A Song Thrush flew high over the Cemy and then was seen to fly south towards the fog! Back home, within my garden, there were a few bees buzzing around plants, which included a Red Mason Bee and an Early Mining Bee. Ladybirds have been scarce so far this year. But I did find a melanistic form of Two-spotted Ladybird.
Early Mining Bee.
This afternoon, I took a bike ride (yes, I bought a second hand bike yesterday to, hopefully, get a bit fitter!) over to Eastney Point. Though the tide was out, I did spot a couple of Turnstone on the foreshore by the boats and further north, both Redshank and Curlew were on the mudflats. Very little else to report here, though.
From here, I thought I would take a stroll around Fort Cumberland Common, seeing it was still very warm and sunny. I first spotted a male Robin feeding its mate, below some Gorse and several flocks of Linnets flew over. Not a great deal else on the bird front, despite a good search around the old deserted buildings, but I did find my first Peacock butterfly of the year, basking in the sunshine on some Gorse. I also found a couple of Yellow-legged Mining Bee’s by the perimeter fence.
Yellow-legged Mining Bee.
Fort Cumberland Common looking west.