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Wildlife in March 2015

Posted: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by WhisbyWarden

Wildlife in March 2015


The monthly WebS count on 13th revealed; 8 Canada Goose; 142 Coot; 22 Cormorant; 28 Gadwall; 17 Goldeneye; 15 Great Crested Grebe; 1 Grey Heron; 34 Greylag Goose; 1 Herring Gull; 3 Lapwing; 31 Mallard; 24 Moorhen; 9 Mute Swan; 2 Pochard; 27 Shoveler; 7 Snipe; 34 Teal; 120 Tufted Duck.

Black-headed Gulls roosting at Teal Lake were estimated at 2000 on two occasions in mid-month. The nesting islands at Grebe Lake and Thorpe Lake seem to be well tenanted in advance of serious breeding activity.
The maximum Bullfinch count was 8 on 4th with many other slightly smaller estimates throughout the month.
Up to 4 Buzzards soared over the area regularly in suitable weather.
Chiffchaffs sang from 12th onwards and up to 12 were reported by month’s end.
800 Common Gulls were counted roosting at Teal lake on the evening of 14th.
24 Cormorants collected at Teal Lake on 10th.
Single Dunlins were observed at Teal Lake and Thorpe Lake on 14th and at Teal Lake again on 19th.
A somewhat late Fieldfare appeared on adjacent farmland on 23rd.
Several individual Goldcrest records were received throughout the month but 4 were counted on both 13th and 17th.
36 Great Black-backed Gulls roosted at Teal Lake on 14th.
Very few Great Spotted Woodpecker records this month; 1 at Magpie Walk on 7th, and 1 at Oakwood on 25th.
Green Woodpeckers were mostly reported on 28th when there were 2 at Teal Lake, 1 at Grebe Lake and 1 at Redland’s Old Yard. Otherwise 1 at Teal Lake on 13th.
Roosting flocks of Greenfinches reported on 2nd (40+) and 16th (76).
The wintering Grey Wagtail in the Pike Drain was seen regularly until 13th, but not subsequently.
41 Jackdaws were counted at Teal Lake on 19th.
Our pair of Kestrels have continued to be seen around the nestbox in Redland’s Old Yard.
There was one Kingfisher record each from Grebe Lake, Teal Lake, Coot Lake and Willow Lake.
The largest count of Lapwings was 24 at Teal Lake on 25th.
Up to 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were counted at Teal Lake.
The maximum count of Lesser Redpolls was only 3, at Teal Lake on 10th.
3-4 Little Egrets were often seen at Teal Lake from mid-month. 1-2 early in the month often at Grebe Lake.
The maximum Little Grebe count was 4 at Willow Lake on 7th.
There were two early Little Ringed Plovers at Teal Lake on 25th.
Flocks of Long-tailed Tits were reported until the end of the third week with 14 on 6th being the largest.
6 Meadow Pipits were observed at Teal Lake on 19th.
A first-summer Mediterranean Gull at the Teal Lake roost on 14th was the prelude to an uninterrupted stay by an adult female at Thorpe Lake from 15th. Unfortunately it seems that the habitual summer visiting male from the last several years is not going to return this year. However, a different adult, seemingly male, was seen at Teal Lake on 25th.
Oystercatcher pairs are apparently established at Thorpe Lake, Grebe Lake and Teal Lake.
1-2 Peregrines were reported, sometimes in association with the pylons that run through the reserve.
Up to 6 Pied Wagtails have haunted Teal Lake during the latter half of the month.
A Pintail visited Willow Lake on 20th.
A Red Kite was reported flying over Thorpe on the Hill on 24th.
18 Redwings flew from the Sandhills on 18th, and 1 was in the same locality on 31st.
There were 6 Reed Buntings on adjoining agricultural land on 23rd.
Single Ringed Plovers visited Thorpe Lake on 1st and Teal Lake on 14th.
5 Sand Martins passed over Grebe Lake on 14th but did not linger.
Up to 4 Shelducks were noted at Teal Lake on several occasions.
17 Shovelers were at Willow Lake on 28th.
Up to 5 Stock Doves drank at Teal Lake.
28 Teal were counted at Teal Lake on 25th.
There were 13 Tree Sparrows at the feeders on 17th.
4 Treecreepers were recorded from Willow Walk/Magpie Walk area on 24th, and most of the other records came from this general location.
A White Wagtail was photographed at Teal Lake on 25th. These are quite scarce at Whisby, and not seen every year.
A large herd of 102 Whooper Swans were at Willow Lake on 11th, the largest number ever recorded at Whisby.
Wigeon numbers at Willow Lake had declined to 10 by 20th. 1 was at Teal Lake on 25th.
Singing Willow Tits were heard at Grebe Lake on 25th and Willow Walk on 29th.
Single Woodcocks were at 3 locations during the month.
There were 18 Yellowhammers on adjoining agricultural land on 23rd.


Few butterflies emerged during March; 1-2 Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Peacock were recorded.
An Orange Underwing moth was seen on 24th, and a Yellow-horned and a Shoulder Stripe were found on the wall of the Education Centre on 19th.


A Red Fox was seen at Teal Lake on 25th. Scats were frequent in the Sandhills area at the same time.
A Muntjac was seen at the Sandhills also on 25th.
Stoats were noted on two occasions.
A Weasel was at Grebe Lake on 6th.
A Wood Mouse was caught in the LWT Workshop on 26th.
Much Mole activity was evident at Magpie Walk and on the railway bridge ramps.

Lesser Celandine in the Pike Drain was about the first to make a show as usual. By the end of the month, Whitlow-grass was frequent in the Sandhills, Early Dog-violet bloomed at Willow Lake, and the first plant to germinate and flower on the new railway bridge ramps was Fumitory.


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