Thursday, 9 April 2020

April 2020

Orange tip butterfly

Please look at the Friends' Website and the facebook page for updates about access and social distancing. 

To discourage gatherings of birders, sightings, especially of rarities, are being suppressed by all the usual sources of information like BirdLine and the local bird clubs. All the same there's always something of interest on the Cambridge Bird Club site. Meanwhile, you might enjoy joining the Self Isolating Bird Club on Facebook  It's one of Chris Packham's best ideas. He's been self isolating with his step daughter at his home in the New Forest. Together they have been making daily videos that are refreshingly un-polished and entertaining. See

As you can imagine, it has been a strange start to April. We should have had our first breeding bird survey to monitor all of our resident birds before the migrants arrived but that and future surveys has been cancelled for the duration. Another reason for my lack of data is that the visitor centre is closed so there is nothing in the log book. My own social isolation hasn't helped: I live in Brampton so most of my sightings have been there.

Male starling


April 9th: Several days of warm weather coupled by South-easterly winds made it impossible for me to stay away and I popped in today for a catch up.

Peacock butterfly on blackthorn.
My walk produced singing nightingales x 2 (though a visitor reported 5 this morning). A cuckoo was heard by Ann Thomas and another one was seen, but not by me. I heard willow warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, linnet, reed bunting, goldfinch, Cetti's warbler, dunnock, robin, long tailed tit, blue tit, great tit, blackbird, wren, starling and a host more, and I saw buzzard x 2, kite, kestrel x 2, crow, rook, wood pigeon, collared dove, jackdaw, jay and magpie.

Toads were croaking in several places and a few butterflies were about: comma, small tortoiseshell, peacock, brimstone and orange-tip. (I saw holly blue at home too.)

Chiffchaff on an ash tree.
Nightingales at Paxton Pits, recorded on Easter week-end 2020. 
It looks like a far better year this year for nightingales.

April 25th: A Visitor who just calls himself John sent us this report..... (Ref 24th) "Wanted to record a sighting of a snake swimming in the Ouse – assume a grass snake – in the stretch below the railway bridge and beside the cattle grazing field. Have never seen a grass snake before in 64 years, so this goes down as ‘exciting’! And on my last visit, I saw a family of otters moving up the river.

Keep up the good work, really sorry to hear about the Kingfisher hide being destroyed last night."

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