Saturday, 17 April 2021

Slow April

Its been quite a cold April with a rather persistent northerly and despite plenty of sun during the day it's been cold particularly at night. Seems like spring has been unfolding rather slowly as a result with morning frosts, very few moths and birds trickling in without any classic fall conditions. Despite this there was an interesting large fall mid-week of Willow Warblers and Wheatears during a frosty clear morning at Portland (and nowhere else on south coast by looks of it) so seems like a concentrated flock of migrants hit the cold air mass resulting in an unpredictable and atypical fall there. Also despite the cold weather there's been some quality migrants pushing through slowly with lots of stop offs by the looks of it- there was Greenshank and Whimbrel at the farmlands this morning in clear conditions. 

I've not been able to get out as much as liked as busy moving out of the obs and having to quote on Wednesday and Thursday at moment too. Had a look round Little Woodcote with Sid on Friday morning (no migrants except for a single Blackcap), had a Whitethroat on Biker's yesterday on a walk with Gillian across Mitcham Common (very few migrants there too) and been keeping an eye out the obs window- not much apart from a few Swallows. 

The mini-farm at the Old Vic is going pretty slow too but broad beans and peas are in and garlic and spring onions are doing well. Got Parsley growing in the window and no sign of the potatoes coming up yet that we put in a few weeks ago. 

So all rather slow- a good time to look a things you wouldn't usually have time to look at and appreciate common stuff.  

We reared these Painted Lady butterflies with Jacob (bought a kit from InsectLore). Not sure if they survived as the day after we let them go it snowed heavily. 

The mini-farm Monday morning and the mini-farm Monday afternoon (more or less). The coach house conversion is coming on well. 

Garden of the week at work was this colourful wildlife garden in Morden
Little Woodcote- a pleasant walk with Sid but nothing too exciting Ebird list HERE
Jackdaws at the Old Vicarage
A couple of bees at the Old Vic- will identify once I can get in the mobile obs and get my books - the van is currently packed full with Thee Bryans music studio which we are moving to Harrison's new loft studio in Gloucester.

According to my new PlantNet app this is annual sowthistle- a new one for the Old Vic pan species list I believe. 
St George's Mushrooms for breakfast at Lee and Rachel's on Saturday morning - Lee's wildlife garden is looking great and St George's mushrooms with garden chives on toast was even better 

Saw out first juvenile passerine in the garden but unfortunately Izzy saw it too
First harvest of the year- the spring onions that we put in during December. Mini-farm 2021 (below)- need to tidy this up and get everything planted up but this weekend we put in carrots, radish, kale and beetroots. Bryan put the sugar snap peas and broad beans in already and we put the potatoes in earlier in March so things are getting there. Tomatoes, more peas and runner beans are in the green house. 

No comments: