Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spring is official...

Saw my first Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies of the year yesterday in an opening in the forest surrounding the forestry college.

Whilst out doing fieldwork for a college module this morning (28th) in a block of forest East of Inverness near Balloch I heard my first Chiffchaff of the year, wasn't lucky enough or had enough time to try and see it though.

I had some spare time this afternoon so I took a stroll down at the local Conon River. Plenty of Common gulls around the old abandoned fish factory with most of them paired up.

Also spotted a pair of Pied Wagtails, a singing Dunnock and pair of Chaffinch collecting nest material.

Further along the riverbank a pair of Herring gulls and Oystercatchers were seen on the shingle bank.

In the woods were the usual suspects but unfortunately no Chiffchaff yet. The woodland floor was covered in Wood Anemone and Lesser Celandine in flower.

Lesser Celandine
Wood Anemone
Other birds seen were a Grey Heron, Rooks, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon and a Buzzard.

Back at home there were two species of bumblebee in the garden although I am not entirely sure what they are. One had a white end and one was smaller with a red end. Set myself a task of getting some clear pictures of them.

In other news my book arrived as expected "Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America", although I havent had a chance to get stuck into it but I've had a quick look through and it really is a beautiful book.

As mentioned in my last blog I will be attending a conference on Thursday and Friday on Integrated Land Use. I am able to attend through my college and it is being run by the RSPB, University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. There will be a mix of talks from RSPB staff, estate owners, deer stalkers, foresters and farmers with workshops being run and a site visit included. It should be interesting, I will report back on it at a later date.

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