30/04/13 07:45 - 10:30 2° at dawn with ground frost but 11° and pleasant (no wind) later.
Just a White-shouldered House Moth and a Clouded Drab in the trap, but the birds were more forthcoming with 35 species recorded today making 61 the total for April. This compares to 47 during March, 26 during February and 25 in January. The last winter thrush sightings were Redwing on 7th April and Fieldfare on 20th. There were still 22 Wheatears this morning on Fox Hill and the Hares (CLICK to YouTube) were performing again.

28/04/13 10:00 - 12:30 3.5° at dawn and cloudy but 14° and sunny with strong, chilly, south-west wind by late morning.
A Willow Warbler in my garden earlier. Along the lane, the Wheatears are far more spread out than before but still 31 at least are present. In the shelter of the Meadow, it was warm enough for 3 Orange-tips, 3 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells 1 Small White and 2 Commas along with several Bee-flies. A Blackcap was singing and Kestrel, Green Woodpecker and Pied Wagtail were also heard or seen.



27/04/13 06:45 - 08:00 2.5° at dawn
Nothing in the moth trap and whilst I was stood later on Fox Hill in a perishing northerly wind, I realised why. Still there were 28 Wheatears (including a particularly obliging male), 2 Moorhens (away from their pond) a Buzzard and a Whitethroat. The Hares that had yesterday been running crazily around, 30 metres from me and my dog, were back to their usual nervous selves. A Yellow Wagtail was reported yesterday by a visitor.


18:00 - 19:00 Sunny, fresh, 8°
For the first time this week most of the Wheatears had moved to another field; 18 were in an adjacent horse/sheep pasture and a further 11 were scattered elsewhere, but as I left an hour later, all 18 had gone from their new field. It will be interesting in the morning to see whether this is typical evening behaviour or whether they will have moved on altogether. Nothing else of note apart from a Little Owl hanging out on one of Howard's Barn Owl boxes:


Aren't digital bridge cameras (FujiFilm HS10) plus Photoshop Elements amazing!

26/04/13 06:30 Cloudy, 5.7° at dawn
2 Brindled Beauty, 2 Early Thorn, and a Small Quaker were all new for the year.


07:00 - 10:00 Cloudy, brightening then hail shower, 9°
The Hares (CLICK to YouTube) were performing wonderfully this morning in the same field that the Wheatears are favouring.
I managed 27 Wheatears and 2 Whinchats (one of which was in a different location and was a brightly plumaged male - so there have been at least three over the last two days). There's a brief video of one here (CLICK to YouTube). I heard a Cuckoo and there are Whitethroats and Linnets now in territory. A Fox was slow to spot us but quick to scarper once he had.
25/04/13 07:45 - 11.00 Cloudy, cold breeze, becoming warm 15°
The extraordinary Fox Hill continues to attract birds with a Ring Ouzel, 2 Whinchats and 24 Wheatears being today's tally of migrants. In support were 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Buzzards, scattered Tree Sparrows, 20 Starlings, several Swallows 3 Hares and a Linnet. The Ring Ouzel disappeared before I could get a photo, when a Rabbit startled it, but in case you think I'm making this up, Howard Broughton joined me and witnessed the lot.


This is, I think, Reticularia lycoperdon - a slime mould. It was growing (if that's the right word) on an old telegraph pole.

24/04/13 06:15 Thin wispy cloud. Min 7.7°
Two more new moths; a Twenty-plume and a Twin-spotted Quaker brings species this year to 11 (8 Macros).


24/04/13 08:00 - 10:00 Thickening cloud. 15.6°
17 Wheatears on Fox Hill (the usual site) otherwise just, Chiffchaffs, Blackcap, Pied Wagtails and common early-season butterflies.



23/04/13 06:15 Cloudless Min 5.5°
A couple of additional garden moth species for the year - an Early Grey and an Emmelina monodactyla - both common and expected.


07:45 - 10:15 Sunny rising to 15°
30 Wheatears today - all in the same field on Fox Hill. 2 House Martins and 2 Whitethroats plus Kestrel, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail and 2 Linnets. Celandines are in full flower.



22/04/13 07:45 - 09:45 Broken cloud; cool
Wheatears down to "just" 23 and no accompanying notables. However there was a nice spread of regulars with 2 Pied Wagtails, another Jay, 2 Grey Partridges a Little Owl and the Green Woodpecker. Also 7 Hares in 2 groups.

19:20 - 20:15 Cool, Breezy but pleasant.
A brief Badger watch saw one emerge early on, with possibly a half-hidden cub or two, but then it went quiet until an adult busied him/herself gathering bedding. But whilst still light, I was spotted, so I left them in peace.

21/04/13 07:45 - 10:45 Sunny and warm. 15° by 11.00am
An amazing 34 Wheatears were today accompanied by a Whinchat (perhaps 2) and a Yellow Wagtail. They were all in one particular field, previously favoured by Redwings and Fieldfares and the Whinchat is quite a scarce migrant in Notts so finding one in Keyworth was very unexpected. A Jay was in the same field briefly and other birds included, Bullfinches, Pied Wagtails and a Whitethroat. Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies on the wing and sunbathing.



20/04/13 07:45 - 09:30 Sunny. Early frost, becoming warm.
Today's Moths: 2 Hebrew Character, 2 Clouded Drab, 1 Common Quaker.
11 Wheatears was the amazing highlight of the morning. Also 2 Little Owls, 2 Linnets plus Reed Buntings, Yellowhammers, Blackcaps, Swallows, Chiffchaffs and a Kestrel.


Later 4 Buzzards drifted over as I hung out the washing.

A Green Woodpecker did a spot of free ant clearance to next door's patio.

And there were Brimstone and Peacock butterflies out and about.

19/04/13 08:00 - 10:00 Breezy and chilly.
Today's Moths: 2 Clouded Drab and 2 Common Quaker. The Lead-coloured Drab id confirmed.
3 Swallows along Lings Lane and a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap and a few Chiffchaffs in the Meadow. Cowslips flowering and Sallow blossom now out fully.



19/04/13 07:15
Chiffchaff in the garden.

17/04/13
2 Swallows on Bunny Lane.

16/04/13 07:00 Breezy and mild. (Very windy later).
As well as the Hebrew Character, 2 Common Quakers and 2 Clouded Drabs, there was a Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti) in the garden moth trap. I'm awaiting confirmation from the county recorder that my id is correct and if so it will be new to me and to the garden. Although they seem well-established in north Leicestershire, this is a Grade 2 rarity species for Notts.

15/04/13 pm Sunny and breezy 16°.
Just as the birds and good weather arrive, I get a heavy cold. The apples on my pergola are intended to detain a few Waxwings but I'll settle for the female Blackcap that spent most of the afternoon at them.

14/04/13 06:45 11°C at dawn.
The 5th species of moth this year but it won't be the last Hebrew Character.

13/04/13 06:45 4.3°C at dawn.
The 4th species of moth this year - an overdue Common Quaker.

10:30 - 12:30 Sunny start becoming cloudy with S breeze - 13°.
70 Fieldfares in the meadow and a few dozen more in the fields (some Redwings mixed in) but the good news is that there were 3 Chiffchaffs (or 1 Chiffchaff moving around a lot!). Also another Peacock butterfly which was scoffed by a Yellowhammer!, 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel.


12/04/13 16:00 11.5°C Hazy sunshine.
First butterfly - a Peacock in the garden. Also a Bee-fly: This is a harmless fly, that looks like a bee with a long pointed proboscis.

11/04/13 07:00 3.2°C at dawn
Just a single Clouded Drab in the moth trap despite the first non-negative dawn temperature for weeks and weeks.

09:00 - 10:15 Cold easterly air & Cloudy; 5.5° by 11:00am
At least 7 Tree Sparrows around the hopper and still some Goldcrests singing and feeding in the meadow but otherwise very uninteresting today. The weather, the landscape and the birds (except for a Robin with nesting material) were what one would expect for a January day.
10/04/13 08:30 - 10:30 Hazy sunshine. slight early frost increasing to 10°C by noon..
Still no spring arrivals and still a "wintering" flock of about 12 Yellowhammers. Otherwise a wandering Canada Goose, 2 Greylag Geese, prospecting Mallards and another (or the same) Squirrel. A Muntjac was seen by a friend nearby this morning and I had a text to say that a Brambling was in a Keyworth garden today.



13:15 Warm sunshine! 14°
A Pipistrelle bat hawking briefly over gardens in the hazy sunshine. Presumably desperate for food after a prolonged hibernation.

07/04/13 08:30 - 10:15 Frosty start then sunny and warm! (12° by 11.00am).
Several singing Goldcrests, a Willow Tit 8 Hares (and a few Rabbits) 6 Bullfinches, 1 Little Owl and a dead Common Shrew. There are also still large numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing and no spring arrivals, though the landscape is just as brown as it was in January. A NBW report of a Raven over the village.


06/04/13 07:00 2° and calm.
Two more moths - things are picking up! A Satellite and a Clouded Drab were the first on a Garden Moth Survey night.


11:30 - 14.00 11° Cold air, Warm sun.
3 Hares, 3 Buzzards, 2 Mallards and a Grey Squirrel. The latter are very unusual in and around the meadow and this one was very keen not to be seen. The first frogspawn - in one of Tim's ponds.

04/04/13 07:00 0.2° and bitingly cold wind.
My first moth of the year from the garden trap - a fresh Oak Beauty.

03/04/13 09:45 - 13:30 5° rising to 8°. Sunny but strong cold easterly.
A visit with the Wildlife Trust to review management turned up a bird first for the reserve in the form of a roosting Long-eared Owl. Single Kingfisher, Heron, Buzzard and Kestrel were also seen.

19:12 Evening update:
About 25 Waxwings have just flown north over my garden.

02/04/13 2:30 - 4:00 10° and sunny but cold easterly.
A Buzzard flew over but most birds seemed to be taking a siesta. An unidentified (Andrena sp.?) bee visited a dandelion and there were gnats on the wing.