Female Hawfinch in Garden

Thursday 28th March - Tuesday 3rd April 2013
As the cold weather continues, and over a week since the male last put in an appearance, a visit by a female Hawfinch to the garden at 7.00am cheered me up no end (photos above and below).
Around six Hawfinches are still present around the Dimore playing field, and yesterday I made a sound recording of calls and song here:
Other news: on Thursday I spotted a Water Rail wandering around beneath the Wild Cherry trees just beyond my back garden, very nice to see. Some inscet interest in the garden recently too with both Buff-tailed and Tree Bumblebees nectaring on Mahonia japonica and Helleborus foetidus flowers. Two Buff-tails were present on Friday. They start feeding surprisingly early, just after 6.00am on that day with frost still on the ground.
Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee on Helleborus foetidus
Queen Tree Bumblebee on Mahonia japonica
Another Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee on Mahonia japonica
On Saturday, a confiding Chiffchaff was feeding near the kitchen window. Later, on the way back from a family afternoon out at Tintern, I called in to Woorgreens to catch up with the Garganeys there, a male and two females, which were busy feeding in the evening light. On Sunday, a Coal Tit was in the garden, the first for some weeks. On Monday Mark and I finished a fairly fruitless morning, apart from a nice singing Dipper at Frome Banks (Stroud), by stopping off for the female Scaup Nick had found on Townfield (sailing) Lake at Frampton. Meanwhile Bramblings, Bullfinches, Lesser Redpolls and Siskins continue to visit the garden feeders regularly.
Chiffchaff, garden
Drake Garganey, Woorgreens Lake, FOD
Female Scaup, Townfield Lake, Frampton-on-Severn
Yesterday, my first hoverfly of the year was this Tapered Drone Fly, Eristalis pertinx, at Sudeley Castle. Other highlights here were Snowy Owl and Reeve's Pheasant, sadly not wild (!) but in the collection.
Eristalis pertinax, Sudeley Castle


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