Amphibians and Reptiles
Frogspawn was spotted
in four ponds in both GA and LA gardens, as well as in a pond on South Road. In
addition, up to five Common Frog were spotted in several ponds in GA (see
There were also several
sightings of Smooth Newt, with five in a pond on Meadow Walk (see
blog), one in a Lewis Cres pond, and a further one in a Bourn bridge Rd
Please continue to keep
a look out in your pond or nearby environs for frogs, toads or other amphibs.
A total of 46 species were
reported in 384 records this month. Alongside the departure of the last of the
winter visitors, came the arrival of the earliest summer visitors like
Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Much birdsong could also heard, particularly on
sunnier days in the latter part of the month, and several species were spotted nest-building.
Several larger flocks
(20-50) of Redwing were spotted, apparently gathering prior to their
migration northwards, with the last report being on 23rd. No reports of Fieldfare
this month. A male Siskin was seen on feeders on Lewis Cres on 18th (see blog),
and a flock of around 50 Black-headed Gull was seen on the Perse sports
fields also on 18th.
The Chiffchaff seemingly
arrived all at once this year, with reports of singing birds at several locations
around the villages on 21st, and three seen together in a garden on Meadow Walk
on 22nd. A male Blackcap was reported as ‘being bossy’ around feeders along
Linton Rd on 15th, with a number of singing males heard towards the end of the
Tit, Magpie and Carrion Crow were all seen gathering nesting materials,
particularly in the second half of the month. Several species were regularly be
heard singing, including Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Skylark,
Blackbird and Song Thrush, the later being seen again in some
gardens after a period of absence.
Along the river, a
pair of Mandarin Duck was spotted near the Old Coach Rd, apparently
searching for suitable nest sites (30th). A Little Egret was reported along
the river in Sluice Wood, and both Canada Goose and Mallard were seen
making good use of the flooded Hood’s Meadow on 11th. A pair of Mallard
were also reported on a Cambridge Rd garden lawn, and four Greylag were
spotted on GP lake.
continued to be seen under feeders in Lewis Cres throughout the month, as well
as around the fallow field on Bourn Bridge Rd, where good flocks of Goldfinch
were also seen.
Buzzard, up to four,
were widely reported circling overhead and ‘mewing’ around the villages, occasionally
seen being mobbed by crows. One or two Red Kite were also seen regularly,
and both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were reported twice. Tawny Owl
continued to be heard calling at night, especially earlier in the month.
The finches remained
regulars around many feeders, generally 2-6 being seen, but with up to eight Chaffinch,
ten Goldfinch and ten Greenfinch being reported on occasion. Blue
Tit, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit were also all widely seen,
generally as pairs now, with 1-2 Coal Tit only more occasionally spotted.
were seen in conifers around Hall Farm, and Robin, Wren and Dunnock
were regularly heard and seen at many locations, with House Sparrow and Starling
also reported occasionally in some gardens. A Jay was seen in several
gardens, with unusually two or three seen together on occasion, and up to five Pheasant
were seen in a garden around Hall Farm.
Woodpecker were seen regularly in a few gardens, and Green Woodpecker
were heard calling, or ‘yaffling’, at several locations around the villages.
Along the Roman Road,
a few Red-legged Partridge were seen, as well as a Yellowhammer and
several Skylark, and along North Rd a few Pied Wagtail were
(1-3) were regularly seen around Lewis Cres and Meadow Walk, with Stock Dove
(up to 12) and 1-6 Woodpigeon seen more widely at several locations. Small
mixed flocks of Jackdaw and Rook were also reported regularly
There was a total of 14
butterfly reports this month. A Peacock was seen on 16th (first of the
year), and Brimstone spotted on six occasions after 20th. The first Comma
report of the year was on 21st (with several subsequent reports), and a Small
Tortoiseshell was seen on 24th. A Small White was spotted on 23rd,
and a Green-veined White on 30th, both first reports this year.
A few Buff-tailed
Bumblebee were seen after 13th (four reports), a Hairy-footed Flower Bee
was seen in Lewis Cres on 24th, and at least two Dark-edged Beefly were also
spotted there on 30th. Pond Skater were also reported on a pond on Bourn
Hare – one in
fields alongside the ORC on 12th, and at least five along the Roman Road on 27th.
Hedgehog – two captured on a trail camera every night between 24th and 31st in a Bourn Bridge Rd garden.
Fallow Deer - around eight seen adjacent to the ORC on 15th,
and a herd of 14 towards Hildersham end of the Roman Road on 27th.
Roe Deer – three
seen along the ORC on 15th, and four spotted east of Chalky Rd on 22nd.
Muntjac – one in field by A11 bridge on 6th, one seen in a Bourn Bridge Rd garden on 19th, one along the ORC on 15th, and one in field near Church
Lane on 22nd.
Flora and Fungi
and Wild Cherry were in blossom, and the clumps of Wild Arum are
now well grown. Dog’s Mercury started to appear, as did Sweet Violet
and Celandine along Bourn Bridge Rd.
The exceptionally dry
February was replaced with a wetter than normal March, with a total of 101.25
mm of rainfall, which is just over double the March average. Unsurprisingly,
this led to the river running very high on several occasions (see
blog). The highest temperature recorded was 18.1 degrees C on the 11th,
and the lowest was minus 5 degrees C on the 25th. There were only few nights
below zero, with some snow (see
blog), and winds were predominantly westerly.
NatureWatch Dates for Your Diaries
With all the
Coronation activities and Bank Holidays over the coming weeks, the NatureWatch
Spring Meeting will be in the morning of Saturday May 20th at The
Institute. Before that, on Saturday April 22nd we plan a visit to Lackford
Lakes, and on the following Monday 24th April in the early evening
we plan the first River Sampling of the year. Further details to follow.