March Bird Watch, 2016

Steve from Dol reports on the new sightings which herald the arrival of spring.

Scops owl Scops owl Rod Coysh

March, much like the UK, has proved the month of arrival and very little difference in dates as far as I can tell.

I missed two weeks' data  (8th – 22nd) as I visited UK, but friends in Dol kept me up to date.

Blackcap. Photo: Steve Jones

As February ended early March continued the same with the regular species feeding on and around my feeders. I noted on March 2nd there were 14 Chaffinches feeding on the ground. Also on March 2nd heard both Cirl Bunting and Serin singing on the road between Dol and Vrbanj, and as I continue to monitor they are singing regularly although they are sometimes difficult to see.

Cirl bunting. Photo: Steve Jones

Blackcaps are also singing regularly and are quite common. I do a lot of my bird watching/ID by call recognition, and whilst I am not very good in comparison to several people in the UK, I am familiar with a fair number of species. It also helps greatly when picking up something new, and I am expecting a lot of that here this Spring.

Serin. Photo: Steve Jones

On March 6th I had a Black Redstart actually touch down in the garden. I have been them seeing them reasonably regularly, but this is the first time one has actually been on the ground. Also on that day a Dunnock. Once again, they are common in the UK but rarely seen here.

As I spent the next two weeks in the UK very little to report although I did receive an email from a neighbour to say he had seen one solitary Swallow over Dol on or around 20th. However, while I suspect the odd bird may have arrived then, I think the real “new arrivals” have come in the last 10 days. These dates differ little from the UK, a friend emailed from UK to say his first Swallow was on 24th two days earlier than normal. While I was in the UK several migrants had been arriving.

On returning on March 22nd I heard a solitary Chiff Chaff calling in Dol and sadly only once. I can only guess that this was passing through, as I have not heard or seen one since. This is a bird which in the UK signifies the arrival of Spring, being one of the first birds to arrive and start singing.

An obvious thing on my return was the disappearance of the feeding birds. I am now just getting the odd Chaffinch or the odd Great Tit, everything else has clearly gone off to mate or has found a natural food source.

A neighbour reported to me that on March 24th he saw a Hoopoe/Pupavac and coincidentally I saw my first one of the year two days later.

Hoopoe. Photo: Frank Verhart

Also on March 26th I saw 100 or so Swallows, several Cirl Buntings and another recent arrival, the Wheatear. I also had a good view of a hunting Sparrowhawk trying to take one of the finches, this time unsuccessful.


Wheatear. Photo: Steve Jones

March 27th was the highlight of my month, seeing a Subalpine Warbler, a new species for me. This was highlighted by the call initially, not because I knew it, but because I didn’t, so immediately I was drawn to it. I managed another (poor) photograph and have had it confirmed by two friends so I am happy to confirm the sighting.

Subalpine Warbler. Photo: Steve Jones

I am also hearing periodically Greenfinch, which is slightly confusing, so it almost makes me question myself. This was one my most common garden birds on leaving the UK, and only on March 27th do I pick up the first call here on Hvar. Since that time I have heard and seen two or three more as confirmation. I would have had a dozen or so feeding regularly in my UK garden, as a comparison.

March 28th – a bird I have never seen but one instantly recognisable is the Scops Owl. The “Ćuk” call is unmistakable, and since the 28th I have been hearing one or two birds. I am not sure if the second is a female answering.

Scops owl.                   Photo: Rod Coysh 

Anyhow another month over and already - hot off the press - I heard the arrival of the Nightingale/Slavuj on April 2nd, also saw a Scarce Swallowtail on the same day, following the first Swallow on the wing on April 1st..

Until next month …………………………

© Steve Jones 2016

For more of Steve's beautiful nature pictures, see his personal pages: Bird Pictures on Hvar 2017, and Butterflies of Hvar

Media

Scops owl calling, (Lot Valley, France) Sussex Scrapbook
You are here: Home environment articles Nature Watch March Bird Watch, 2016

Eco Environment News feeds

  • The world’s seas and roads are awash with farm animals, with almost two billion pigs, cattle, sheep and chickens trucked or shipped as exports in 2017

    Continue reading...

  • Ahead of the World Economic Forum, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema urges governments to take definitive action on climate, deforestation and pollution

    Humanity will have given up on planet Earth if world leaders cannot reach an agreement this year to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and destruction of life-supporting ecosystems, the United Nation’s new biodiversity chief has warned.

    Elizabeth Maruma Mrema,the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, has implored governments to ensure 2020 is not just another “year of conferences” on the ongoing ecological destruction of the planet, urging countries to take definitive action on deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis.

    Continue reading...

  • Environmentalists say incinerating a vast stockpile of firefighting foam containing harmful PFAS is putting communities at risk

    The Department of Defense is polluting the environment with toxic chemicals by continuing to incinerate a vast stockpile of firefighting foam in a move environmentalists say is in breach of new regulations.

    In a letter sent last week to the secretary of defense, Mark Esper, several environmental organizations argue the defense department is already out of compliance with new provisions regulating the disposal of the material and insist that it “immediately cease” incineration of the foam – called AFFF – which puts communities at risk.

    Continue reading...

  • Sainsbury’s, Lego and H&M feature on list that rewards shift to renewable energy and reducing emissions

    Sainsbury’s, Lego and H&M are among the businesses to make a prestigious A-list of companies that are deemed to be at the forefront of the charge to tackle the “existential” climate crisis.

    The list is compiled by non-profit group CDP which scores companies based on the environmental data they voluntarily disclose on its platform. Just 2% of the 8,000 companies it scores made the A-list, with Nestlé, Unilever, BT and Walmart among the 179 to make the cut. A focus on the climate emergency was not at the expense of business success, CDP said, with companies on the A-list also outperforming peers on the stock market by 5.5% a year.

    Continue reading...

  • Ghent’s transformation produced shorter journeys, cleaner air and a cycling explosion


    Birmingham – once, proudly, the UK’s “motorway city” – has announced plans to entice people out of cars and on to bikes and buses. If officials get their way, the city will be split into zones, and, rather than driving direct, motorists will have to use the ring road for all zone-to-zone journeys.

    Those travelling by foot and bicycle in the new Brum won’t be inconvenienced: their journeys will be simple and – with fewer cars – safer. With cars out of the way, bus journeys will become swifter and more reliable.

    Continue reading...

  • Experts say judgment is ‘tipping point’ that opens the door to climate crisis claims for protection

    It is unlawful for governments to return people to countries where their lives might be threatened by the climate crisis, a landmark ruling by the United Nations human rights committee has found.

    The judgment– which is the first of its kind – represents a legal “tipping point” and a moment that “opens the doorway” to future protection claims for people whose lives and wellbeing have been threatened due to global heating, experts say.

    Continue reading...

  • Awareness training across London led to ‘intelligence’ tip-offs, according to report

    A police force in London labelled Extinction Rebellion one of its “key threats” in a counter-terrorism assessment and provided awareness training on the climate crisis group across the capital, resulting in “intelligence” tip-offs.

    City of London police grouped the environmental protest movement alongside “far-right organisations” in an assessment of its counter-terrorism operations seen by the Guardian.

    Continue reading...

  • East Yorkshire councillors bemoan lack of national guidance and funding

    Ministers have been urged to step in to help families whose homes are at imminent risk of collapsing into the sea on the fastest-eroding coastline in northern Europe.

    Residents in the Yorkshire village of Skipsea were told this week that more than 20 homes were at risk of falling into the North Sea in the next 12 months, with hundreds vulnerable in the coming decades.

    Continue reading...

  • To try to combat the mountain of food waste, diabetic Andrew Mayers decided to live on what people chuck in the bin. Even if it’s two doughnuts and a cucumber

    My NHS dietician says that January is a dangerous month for diabetics such as me. The shops are full of Christmas leftovers: those high-calorie, nutrient-light foodstuffs, now for sale at massive discounts – confectionery collections, deep-filled mince pies, presentation tins of chocolate biscuits. You exert all that willpower over the festive period, and just when you think it’s safe to go back into the supermarkets …

    But in the last year I’ve pretty much stopped going into supermarkets. Or takeaways. Or fast-food joints. Not that I’ve stopped eating their products – I’ve restricted myself to hoovering up what other people bring on to the streets and squander: my own personal Deliveroo, free of charge.

    Continue reading...

    • Thousands of bodies washed up on North America’s Pacific coast
    • Study finds common murres probably died of starvation

    A million seabirds died in less than a year as a result of a giant “blob” of hot ocean, according to new research.

    A study released by the University of Washington found the birds, called common murres, probably died of starvation between the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds