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 Cirl Bunting
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.
Peacock Butterfly - beautiful!
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
Blossom Tree at St Andrews Cross, Plymouth City Centre