Gill and I had a four mile circuit walk this morning along lanes west of the village. This revealed a continuing picture of decent numbers of common resident birds singing but relatively few hirundines and warblers. Not a sniff of a Yellow Wagtail or something really exotic like a Yellowhammer. The big field remains intriguing with ten Lapwings apparently sat and at least four Skylarks singing still. It'll be fascinating to see if the Lapwings are wasting their time or will get young off. Pairs of Canada Geese have been hanging around the field ponds for weeks and we saw the first goslings today - a brood of five. Thanks Tony for organising these emails and allowing us "foreigners" to contribute - we"ve enjoyed it!
Thanks Steve and Gill for your valuable contributions over the last few weeks.
A good, long walk to the Moor for Geoff and Sheila Blamire!
Did a new 8.5km walk this morning to Knutsford Moor and had 2 ticks! We walked down Mereheath Lane it was very pleasant with not much traffic. Without any footpaths there's no chance doing that in "normal" times. Plenty of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, 1 Garden Warbler and 2 Whitethroat - 1 was near the Altrincham and District Angling Pool, which was surrounded by spring-sown cereal and the farmer was spraying some chemical on the fields. We were amazed when he stopped for us to walk by and then started again. Very impressed and waved to him. First we went down Hillcrest Crescent to look over the reed beds. Our first Lockdown List tick was a Reed Warbler (probably 3-4 warblers), but no sight or sound of the Grasshopper Warbler. On the moor pool 2 Great Crested Grebes, on the female"s back were 3 "humbugs" (very small youngsters), the male occasionally brought some fish in. One of the youngsters had a wound in the middle of its forehead. On the right side of the pool a Moorhen was busy building a nest. We continued around the moor, and walked to the bottom of the Tatton Park fence, and around the area. On the way back to the moor pool we had a second tick - Alan Booth and his wife! A repeat to Hillside Crescent and back home along Mereheath Lane which was much busy. All in all a good morning.
This afternoon I did some gardening near one of our insect houses and amazed to see Red Mason Bees (Osmia bicornis) had taken it over. In the 2 photos you can see the hollow bamboo canes - the female lines the inside of the cane with mud, lay her eggs, leaving a supply of pollen, and finish blocking off the cane with more mud. Brilliant J
Cheers...... Sheila and Geoff