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Amphibians, Birds and Bluebells

Monday, March 28th 2016

Where to start?  Common Toads are still making their way back to the ponds and when the sun shines and the temperature rises their high pitched croak can be heard.  Some are rather shy and try to camouflage themselves amongst the plants!  Asked yesterday how long they live for I replied about 10 years.  However looking it up on the 'net the answer should have been 40 years.

Common Toad

Some of the frogspawn is developing to the comma stage,

Comma stage frogspawn

whilst some is just beginning to hatch.

Just hatched frogspawn

Springwatch reported that some people had photographed Bluebells in flower.  Ours are on course for later flowering.  The leaves can now clearly be seen.

Bluebell leaves

Out on the training area Short-eared Owls have been flying.  This one remained still, in the dusk, so a photograph could be taken.  During the winter there can be an influx of birds from Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland.  They are of European conservation concern and so are on the Amber List of species.

Short-eared Owl

No excuses for more photographs of Siskin.  They are beautiful birds and are feeding in the back garden and outside the kitchen window.

Siskin

This Siskin was caught just as the wind blew its head feathers!

Siskin

This fantastic shot of the Siskin was taken by Sophie and  you can't help but think it is saying 'Aren't I just beautiful?'

Siskin

It is some time since we have had an influx of Lesser Redpolls in the numbers that are present at the moment.  Nyger seeds are their favourite food as they feed well before dispersing in many different directions.  They are coming into breeding plumage, with the chest feathers of the males turning really proper red! 

Male Lesser Redpoll

Females have a red head but their chest feathers remain cream.

Male and female Lesser Redpoll


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