Birdwatch, March 2019

March has proved very interesting, which is just as well, as I was in the UK for most of February so I could not record much.

Common Crane, 9th March 2019. Common Crane, 9th March 2019. Photo: Steve Jones

Last year I had seen 66 species by the end of March, but this year I am at only 53 species. I did a comparison of species seen last year and it is an obvious fact that, apart from my absence for some of the time,  the lack of rainfall this Winter / Early Spring has been a major factor in this. The majority of species seen were ducks and waders that frequented the pond. On March 19th I estimated that the water level in the pond which I observe regularly was about 40 cm lower than last year, probably equivalent to the levels of last June. At the end of March, the levels seemed equivalent to those of last July - although admittedly last year's levels were higher than in previous years. As I type this, I estimate that the last section holding water has only maybe one or two more days left now.

Brimstone butterfly. Photo: Steve Jones

As Spring and Summer progress it will be interesting to see if this has much of a bearing on emerging dragonflies and the minute froglets that emerge in May. The early March temperatures have brought out most of the butterflies one would expect to see: Red Admiral (pretty well on the wing all year round), Orange Tip, Brimstone, Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady and more recently Scare Swallowtail and Swallowtail. I also saw Small Copper and Bath White butterflies on the wing around March 19th.

My photographs are intended as records for me with the occasional one being quite good, easily recognisable for the interested readers. I was quite fortunate to have got a picture of Two Cranes in early March, these are big birds and wouldn’t tolerate me within 50 metres. Anxious not to make them fly I managed a couple of pictures from a distance.

Common cranes. Photo: Steve Jones

On March 12th there was an interesting sight down at the pond – about 60 -70 Hooded crows all together, the most I have seen here in one go. While I know some breed here I am wondering if these are moving through and go on to breed elsewhere. You can clearly make out the two cranes amongst the vegetation.

Hooded crows and cranes. Photo: Steve Jones

Blackcaps were in full song in the middle of March, probably themost prominent among the songbirds at that point in time. This picture of the Yellow Wagtail was pure chance, there was a recently ploughed field down near the pond with 50 – 60 Pied Wagtails feeding, and amongst them were two Yellow Wagtails.

Yellow Wagtail. Photo: Steve Jones

Similarly a Corn Bunting, once again I was quite fortunate he obliged as I took this from the car. As I type this there are three Corn Buntings now singing in the patch I visit daily. Anybody interested enough could see one calling on the road that passes the airfield, on the macadam section, on the right, about 50 metres after the end of the tarmac (heading away from Vrboska).

Corn Bunting. Photo: Steve Jones

In the past three years the Chiff Chaff has been singing very briefly and almost immediately moved on. This year there was a bird singing in a neighbour's garden in Dol for about ten days. Also a Mistle Thrush singing for about two days near my garden in Dol. On the 14th March I spotted a Sparrowhawk catching a Pied Wagtail. Unfortunately, the picture isn't as clear as it might be, but it gives an idea of what the Sparrowhawk feeds on.

Sparrowhawk capturing Pied Wagtail. Photo: Steve Jones

On March 19th I saw the first two swallows of the year. I was really pleased on 21st March that I recorded a new species for me on the Island. A Redstart – I don’t understand why I don’t see more as Black Redstarts overwinter on the island.

Black Redstart. Photo: Steve Jones

I have put two pictures up so that you can see the differences. That said, I haven’t been lucky enough to capture a male Black Redstart in breeding plumage but you should be able to see the differences in the two pictures.

Redstart. Photo: Steve Jones

The overwintering birds departed around 24th, I have only glimpsed one bird since that time.

As some of you may have heard, the Scops Owl returned in March. I was alerted by Vivian in Pitve that she heard two Scops on the evening of the 18th. Me, in Dol 24th!

Scops Owl. Photo: Steve Jones

On 25th March I got my first half-decent picture of a Linnet, which I am sharing for the record, although I hope for a better shot in the future!

Linnet. Photo: Steve Jones

Finally a bird which always causes you to look twice, as it's surprisingly well camouflaged…………………………..

Hoopoe. Photo: Steve Jones

My first sighting of this year was on March 24th.

Hoopoe, 24th March 2019. Photo: Steve Jones

The listing of species observed up to March:

© Steve Jones 2019

For more of Steve's nature pictures, see his personal pages: Bird Pictures on Hvar 2017Bird Pictures and Sightings on Hvar 2018, and Butterflies of Hvar

 

You are here: Home Nature Watch Birdwatch, March 2019

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Treasury review will help determine whether UK meets climate goals, and experts say radical change is required

    The UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, must radically overhaul the Treasury’s response to the climate crisis, reforming the department’s longstanding hostility to green spending and resetting its priorities, experts said.

    The Treasury is poised to introduce its long-awaited review of the government’s net zero strategy, and its recommendations will help determine whether the UK meets stringent targets on greenhouse gas emissions in the next 15 years.

    Continue reading...

  • Writer Elizabeth-Jane Burnett brings together 400 voices for optimistic riposte to events of past year

    Some described chance encounters with birds and animals beginning to chirrup and scurry as the days lengthened and warmed; others focused on feelings of relief, hope and lingering melancholy after a long and challenging winter.

    The observations, thoughts and sentiments of members of the public who were invited to contribute to a crowdsourced poem celebrating the coming of spring 2021 have been weaved together into a new poem by the nature writer Elizabeth-Jane Burnett.

    Continue reading...

  • Wolsingham, County Durham:Pearly buds have opened, smothering blackthorn twigs in a froth of blossom. Spring’s brief intermission is over

    In The Generation Game, a popular 1970s TV show, winning contestants watched desirable prizes pass by on a conveyor belt, but afterwards only took home those they could remember in 45 seconds. Recalling the pageant of spring flora – a prize for getting through a long winter – sometimes feels like a similar challenge, especially since the floral conveyor belt accelerates as temperatures rise and days lengthen.

    The earliest flowers soon fade from memory. When I walked this footpath two weeks ago, yellow star of Bethlehem that bloomed in March was already hidden under an aniseed-scented canopy of sweet cicely foliage. Lesser celandines and violets were reaching their peak, toothwort and butterbur had just shouldered aside last autumn’s decayed leaves, and drifts of wood anemones and ramsons were about to grace the woodland.

    Continue reading...

  • Researchers say loss of diversity in Sweden’s Atlantic salmon population could compromise ability of fish to adapt to climate change

    Fish farming may have been devised as a remedy to reinvigorate dwindling fish stocks but this human solution has spawned another problem: lower genetic diversity.

    Now, a study shows that the genetic makeup of Atlantic salmon populations from a century ago compared with the current stock across 13 Swedish rivers is more genetically similar than distinct, which researchers say could compromise the ability of the fish to adapt to climate change.

    Continue reading...

  • Researchers in Canada find that population did not make the 6,000km roundtrip in 2018-2019

    As the ice melts at pace in the Arctic, the mining and shipping industry has carved itself an opportunity out of the crisis. Meanwhile, the marine ecosystem is left to coping with the heat, noise, pollution and the cascade of other changes that come with the upheaval of the environment.

    Now researchers have found a whale species that typically migrates away from solid sea ice each autumn and returns every summer to feast on tiny crustaceans did not make the 6,000km (3,700-mile) roundtrip in 2018-2019.

    Continue reading...

  • It will be dealt with by salt of the earth scientists and farmers - the sort of Australians people like you only ever have to think about when you fire them

    Continue reading...

  • President will unveil new emissions reduction target while much will hinge upon cooperation between China and US

    Joe Biden’s desire to re-establish US leadership on the climate crisis will face a severe test this week at a summit the president hopes will rebuild American credibility and kickstart a spluttering international effort to stave off the effects of global heating.

    Biden has invited 40 world leaders to a two-day virtual gathering starting on Earth Day, Thursday, as the opening salvo in negotiations leading to crunch United Nations talks in Scotland later this year. Scientists say the world is severely lagging in tackling the climate crisis and its heatwaves, storms and floods, with planet-heating emissions set to roar back following a dip due to coronavirus shutdowns.

    Continue reading...

  • Bad decisions are harming the UK’s green credentials. Boris Johnson must get beyond targets if he wants be taken seriously

    The starting gun has been fired. With a pledge to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels, Boris Johnson’s government has begun the bidding process that will set the scene for the Cop26 climate talks. As Mr Johnson knows, November’s meeting in Glasgow is a chance for the host country and its leaders to shine. And so his government has taken the cue and announced a toughening of existing targets – in line with UK law and following advice from its advisers on the Committee on Climate Change – ahead of a virtual climate summit of 40 world leaders to be hosted by Joe Biden.

    In the coming days, countries including the US and Japan are expected to present their nationally determined contributions, or NDCs, as plans to cut emissions over the next decade are known. The world will soon know a good deal more about our prospects of avoiding catastrophic warming of over 1.5C. But distracting as the geopolitical scenario may be, in particular the extraordinary transformation of American climate policy since Donald Trump’s defeat, this is not the time to ease the pressure on Mr Johnson. Instead, it must be drastically ramped up.

    Continue reading...

  • Global economies forecast to pour stimulus money into fossil fuels as part of Covid recovery

    Carbon dioxide emissions are forecast to jump this year by the second biggest annual rise in history, as global economies pour stimulus cash into fossil fuels in the recovery from the Covid-19 recession.

    The leap will be second only to the massive rebound 10 years ago after the financial crisis, and will put climate hopes out of reach unless governments act quickly, the International Energy Agency has warned.

    Continue reading...

  • Carbon dioxide to be cut by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels, the prime minister is to say later this week

    The UK is to toughen its targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the next 15 years, the first major developed economy to do so, the Guardian understands.

    Following recommendations of the government’s statutory climate advisors, carbon dioxide is to be cut by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels, the prime minister will say later this week – an increase from the current target of a 68% reduction by 2030.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds