Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Spring at Allerthorpe Common

A spring day with just a light breeze and full sun spent at Allerthorpe Common. Chiffchaffs sung almost non stop, with one collecting nest material. At least a couple of Willow Warblers joined them in song, the first of the year. 
 We listened for Woodlark song and finally heard one, which then sung non stop for quite a while. It took ages to locate, but when we did it gave superb views, the best I've had for this species. We then focused our efforts in herps, and found a female Adder basking by the side of the path. On the heath, several Common Lizards scurried in the vegetation before we could take any photos. We also found a Smooth Newt under a log.
 A Red Kite, at least two Buzzards, a displaying female Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel made for a nice raptor tally. Coming across a flock of Brambling at least a dozen strong was also a highlight.
On the invertebrate front, many butterflies on the wing, with peacock males being particularly abundant, with at least 12 flying past, several Peacocks, and several Comma. There were also several species of bees active, many visiting willow blossom, including Bombus pascuorumB. lapidariusAndrena fulvaAndrena clarkella, and A. haemorhoa.
Male Yellowhammer. 
Singing Linnet.
Female Sparrowhawk in territorial display flight. We also had Buzzards, a Red Kite and a Kestrel.  
In a pine plantation, a flock of Brambling called incessantly.
Woodlark on stubble field. 
Smooth Newt. 
Brimstone. The only male that stopped to feed, the rest flew rapidly by.
Tachina ursina, a tachinid fly.
Andrena haemorhoa.
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