Friday, 27 April 2012

Summer is a-coming in!

OK, so the weather these days is so typically April that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was still spring, but yesterday at Fowlmere I saw too many signs of summer to ignore. 

First, was this little fella, sunning himself on the boardwalk.  He's a (not so) common lizard actually facing to the left, about to dive off the board as I get too close, and the stumpy tail is because he's already lost the end avoiding being somebody's lunch.

Whenever the sun is shining and it's not too cold I always creep quietly along that section of the boardwalk in the hope of spotting a sunbather, and he's my first this year.  Good omen!

As I walked around the reserve I could hear chiff-chaffs and willow warblers, and was lucky enough to spot a chiff-chaff.  If you can see the legs, chiff-chaff have brown or grey legs, while willow warblers have pinkish legs.  Otherwise, if not singing, they are very hard to distinguish.   They've been here for a week or two now.

At Reedbed Hide I looked out and saw five swifts and a house martin, which are also good indicators of summer.  We suspect these are arrivals rather than migrants just topping up en passant, as the numbers slowly grew while we watched.  By the time I left, there were nine swifts, two swallows and the house martin.

I also saw a little grebe, four lapwings and a pair of teal, and while we were there, a reed warbler started singing.  Another season's first!

So the weather might be a bit unpredictable, but I think we're getting there.  Any day now, cuckoos and grasshopper warblers!


ArcticFox said...

Sounds like a great day's entertainment.... I was just about to mention the "loudly sing cuckoo" reference but you managed to sneak it in right at the end of the post!! Curses.... foiled again! All I've seen today are the usual suspects in me garden... bluetits paired up.... some goldfinch and a couple of blackbirds. There ARE lots of bumble-bees about though.... really huge ones and they're having a field day with the dandelions in my (what I laughingly refer to as a)lawn.

Rob Clack said...

Birding high point of today was watching a sparrowhawk eyeing up my garden, but all the little feathered tapas that fly around had scarpered!

You sound as though you're feeling better. Antibiotics kicked in?