A trip to Brockodale YWT reserve today yielded a flock of around 20 yellowhammers in the fields adjacent to the car park, the first lesser celandine by the river and primrose in flower on the south bank of the woods. Stinking helibore (Helleborus foetidus) all in flower too.
Pauline also noted two pairs of goosander at Chantry Bridge plus the return of the regular mute swans (cob Y127, pen Y567). A hedgehog in Pauline’s garden last night suggests that the weather is milder and spring is on the way.
Venus and the moon were in alignment this morning appearing very close to each other in the morning sky. Having totally forgotten about it until I got up for work, I managed to snatch this shot from my garden. Had I remembered I may well have tried to get somewhere such as Sandal Castle as the foreground!
Venus appearing close to the moon over Hemsworth
Francis has been putting in the hours over the last three days looking for signs of the peregrine using the newly erected nestbox. However, over the last three days there have been no sightings of our bird on the cathedral! Maybe he’s away looking for a mate to bring back to the fabulous ‘des res’ that we put up for him.
On the plus side, the observations have resulted in Francis clocking up red kite, buzzard and sparrowhawk over the cathedral.
Following on from our February meeting were we noted how few and far between fieldfares seem to be this winter, Colin sent in a note of a flock of around 70 at Altofts canal and around 60+ wigeon there too
Today I noticed that two common newts have emerged from hibernation and found their way to my garden pond at Wrenthorpe. The pond, although tiny in size, has been visited by a small population of newts each spring to breed for the past thirty years. The newts are also occasionally found hiding away under stones and leaf litter. On land they look very much like lizards. However, they move slowly and obviously do not enjoy the sun like lizards. The photo here is of a common newt found in the garden hiding under some stones on 10th April during 2011.