Friday, April 17, 2009

Wildforms Blog - March

March started the same way as February, with snow on the 4th.

Still plenty of snowdrops out along with the snowflakes and daffodils.

On the 14th we headed for The Machars for a walk around White Loch, we saw roedeer, but not much birdlife on the loch, just a couple of swans and shags. On the way back we stopped to take some photos of some Belties.
Galloway "Belties"

The following week on the 21st, the sun was shining, although windy, so we headed down to the South Rhins to Auchie Glen near the Mull of Galloway. We had been meaning to do this walk for some time as we had heard it was a good spot for birding. We werent dissapointed, as soon as we got out of the car we could here the birds singing.
A short distance down the edge of the field towards the glen and we spotted a Yellowhammer, only managed fuzzy photos unfortunately.
Into the glen and the daffodils were all out in bloom. Although they looked lovely, I cannot understand why large cultivated varieties had been planted in the countryside like this, the smaller wild daffodils allowed to naturalise would have been far more fitting. We soon spotted a warbler, a chiffchaff I think, there were also Willow Warblers too. At the end of the glen we followed the footpath towards the coast, crossed the road and down to the shore.
A lamb had excaped the field onto the path and didnt know which way to go, eventually finding its way back to its mum.

The path leads down to a small cove with views of the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, where we saw gannets but not many other seabirds. The path appears to continue towards the Mull, but time was getting on and it was a fair walk back, so we returned the way we had come. On the journey back home we spotted more yellowhammers on the wires and a deer in the woods.

Back in the Keepers Cottage garden, plenty of new birdlife is arriving.
There are now lots of Goldfinches about.....

...along with Siskins.

A female pheasant now visits the garden daily and the male is often about too, in full breeding plummage with ear tufts.

On 28th it was our monthly walk with the West Galloway SOC . We met at Ardwell picnic site and watched the shoreline for a while as there were plenty of waders, gannets, divers and ducks about.
As there was a brisk chilly wind we set off inland to Ardwell pond for our walk.
A couple of mute swans, several pairs of mallards, moorhens and a cormorant were on the pond.
In the gardens there were plenty of daffodils and skunk cabbage out and we saw warblers, a grey wagtail, treecreeper and great spotted woodpecker amongst others.

We returned to the shore were it was now less windy and spotted many more birds and a seal. A good afternoons birding was had by all.

Birds seen on the shore included: Gadwall, Red-Throated Diver, Red-Breasted Merganser, Gannet, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Redshank, Knot, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Shag, Peregrine, Sandwich Tern and all the usual Gulls. There was also a possible Scoter.

Around the ponds and gardens: Long-Tailed Tit, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, Buzzard, Cormorant, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Mallard, Rook, Carrion Crow, Robin, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Heron, Pheasant.

We finished off the month with our first sitings of the year of lizards basking in the sunshine by our dry stone wall in our front garden.

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