Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wembury Butterfly Day - 30th March 2014

And so to the last but one day of March and the past 3 months seemed to have just whizzed by. I always feel impatient at this time of year, I love Winter but by March I have had enough of it and long for Spring with all that it can promise and deliver. As the weather improves and the days lengthen Summer migrants begin to trickle in while Winter birds begin to dwindle and the transition just seems to take forever leading to my impatience. Anyway with decent weather forecast for today my original plan had been to visit Dawlish Warren but as it was a Sunday, Mothers Day, sunny and with the train line still closed between Newton Abbot and Exeter I decided to have a walk at Wembury instead.

It was warm and sunny with a stiff Easterly breeze but very pleasant and very busy when I left at 1pm to head back to Plymouth. Things have certainly improved on the bird front with some nice sightings today, with 2 female wheatears in the fields above the horse stables being the highlight and my first of the year. A singing blackcap and 4 singing chiffchaffs were heard along with a song thrush and a cirl bunting. A little egret and a lone male mallard were amongst the rocks as the tide went out along with oystercatcher, herring gulls and great black backed gulls. A pair of kestrels were calling around the cliffs where they nested last year and a raven gave a great close fly-by over the cliff path, looking resplendent in the bright sunshine. 2 stock doves flying high East were a surprise and my first Wembury sighting for a few years now.

Male Stonechat

Male Cirl Bunting

 Male Kestrel
Female Kestrel

A male and female oil beetle, bloody nosed beetles and 3 common lizards were seen along with peacock butterflies, small tortoiseshells and my first comma, holly blue, speckled wood and green veined white of the year. The toilet block also held a double striped pug, my first moth of the year, and what I think is a March moth which was unfortunately dead and dessicated in a spiders web.

 Holly Blue
 Peacock Butterfly
 Peacock Butterfly - beautiful!
Common Lizard

Heading home to escape the descending hordes and I decided to have a walk around Plymouth Hoe. It was very warm and sunny and very busy too but I did see 13 turnstones feeding on the seaweedy foreshore, some in summer plumage. Otherwise it was quiet with 2 Canada geese on Sutton Harbour with 17 mute swans being a first for me here and the only other highlight.

 Canada Goose, Sutton Harbour
Canada Geese
Blossom Tree at St Andrews Cross, Plymouth City Centre

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