Thursday, 21 April 2016

Spring Sunshine.

Some lovely spring sunshine has encouraged butterflies to emerge. My first Holly Blue of the year was seen on Ivy today. A Lesser Whitethroat was in the hedge on Stony Bank on 19th and 2 Common Sandpipers were on the dam. On the same date a single Noctule bat was feeding near to the church. Highlight today were two Bar-tailed Godwits, which flew over heading north. There was also a single Wheatear in the field at the top end and 7 Yellowhammers on the ploughed field.

Common Tern Rafts at Thornton.

 On Wednesday two rafts were launched at the Markfield inflow end of the reservoir. They are designed to attract Common Terns to hopefully nest and breed. The rafts have been funded and built by members of Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society. LROS and any terns that use the rafts in the future, would  like to thank Ifor Jones of Thornton Trout Fishery and Severn Trent for their support in completing  this project.

 There are eight similar rafts at Watermead CP, where last year 28 young terns were successfully raised. The rafts have Perspex sides, which are a deterrent to predators such as Mink. The rafts are covered in gravel, on which the terns lay their eggs. There are also ridge tiles, under which young terns can seek shelter.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Birds and Flowers at Thornton.

 A Cormorant was bragging about how big the trout was that he had just caught.
 Tawny roosting up against a large conifer.

 Blue tit with yellow crown, or was it pollen?
 First Whitethroat of the year on Stony Bank.
 Swallows and House Martin in good numbers now, and plenty of Sand Martins.
 A White Wagtail on the dam today and also Common Sandpiper.(April 18th)

 A good show of Fritillaries and Cowslips on the Rough.

 Several Bee species were visiting the flowers. Below- Not sure what this small one is.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Monkeying Around at Thornton!

 There have been some unusual sightings at Thornton Reservoir recently. April is always a good time for migrants, but no one expected the above monkey sp.
A whinchat below was a treat.

 It was found feeding in the pony fields at the Stanton inflow. It is several years since I recorded this species locally.

 A smart male Redstart was in the hedges on the eastern side of the res. above Stony bank.
 Redstart seem to have become more regular over recent years.
 A Mink in the top end inflow stream is perhaps a less welcome visitor. Water Voles could always be seen at both inflows, but sadly are long gone. No doubt that this little chap played a part.
 My fourth Wheatear of the Spring.