Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Monday 2nd March
A new month and weather to match. The frosty start evolved into a warm, sunny Spring-like day. It felt like the sort of day that Ross might phone to say he'd happened upon the first migrant of the year, a Wheater hoping around the lawn at Bradbourne or a Sand Martin flitting overhead, so I was suprised when he called mid-morning to tell me he'd heard Waxwings trilling in the area of Garner Drive, East Malling. We'd kinda presumed they'd moved on - the research site has been pretty barren since the orchards were cleaned up a few weeks ago. Most of the Fieldfares have moved onto the nearby grazed areas with 100+ seen on my cycle in, south-east of Kiln Barn Farm. A rapid cycle down to Bradbourne House at lunchtime turned up a blank - Blue Tits tittered, Woodpeckers drummed, Coots called but no Waxwings trilled. So instead I kicked through some of the leaf litter still hoping to find the elusive East Malling Woodcock. I disturbed a butterfly but frustratingly it was off, up and over the windbreak before I could ID it It was brown/dark, not Brimstone Yellow, so most probably a Comma or Small Tortoiseshell. I'll never know what my first butterfly species of the year was! Bees busied themselves in some of the more sheltered corners of the orchards and a couple of Herring Gulls loafed around briefly on Bradbourne Lake. The Barnacle Goose was glimpsed amongst the gaggle of Canada Geese on the opposite bank.