Saturday 26 March 2022

The coot has now been joined by another.

While working in the garden, I found this bee nest on the ground beside our dead tree (UPDATE: now that some have hatched, I can identify this as the nest of either Osmia bicornis or Osmia cornuta). I've put the pupae in my hatching net so that I can see what emerges. I can imagine that a woodpecker has eaten the missing pupae and dropped the rest of the nest although I didn't see that happen.

<em>Osmia</em> sp. bee nest, Christophstal March 2022

Osmia sp. bee nest, Christophstal March 2022

Friday 25 March 2022
Coot, Christophstal March 2022

Coot, Christophstal March 2022

A solitary coot has joined the Egyptian Geese at the pond.

Sunday 20 March 2022

It was a beautiful day today. The insects are waking up and enjoying the snowdrops. I also found a new species of weevil for our garden, Perapion violaceum, on our bio-bin (although the photos didn't come out too well).

I'm finishing off with a photo of a coal tit and a dunnock.

Bee TBI, Christophstal March 2022

Bee TBI, Christophstal March 2022

Honey bee, Christophstal March 2022

Honey bee, Christophstal March 2022

European paper wasp, Christophstal March 2022

European paper wasp, Christophstal March 2022

<em>Perapion violaceum</em>, Christophstal March 2022

Perapion violaceum, Christophstal March 2022

Coal tit, Christophstal March 2022

Coal tit, Christophstal March 2022

Dunnock, Christophstal March 2022

Dunnock, Christophstal March 2022

Saturday 19 March 2022
Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

A male black redstart was enjoying our garden building site today. He was hunting from all the fences, stone piles and earth mounds.

Friday 18 March 2022

Two Egyptian Geese visited today and stayed a few days.

Egyptian Goose, Christophstal March 2022

Egyptian Goose, Christophstal March 2022

Egyptian Goose, Christophstal March 2022

Egyptian Goose, Christophstal March 2022

Wednesday 16 March 2022
Saharan dust, Christophstal March 2022

Saharan dust, Christophstal March 2022

Saharan dust, Christophstal March 2022

Saharan dust, Christophstal March 2022

Saharan dust, Christophstal March 2022

Saharan dust, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstarts, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstarts, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Black redstart, Christophstal March 2022

Stonechat, Christophstal March 2022

Stonechat, Christophstal March 2022

Grey heron, Christophstal March 2022

Grey heron, Christophstal March 2022

We've had some red skies this week as apparently we've had some Saharan dust coming up from the south. The first photo shows roughly how it looked. Our car is looking very disreputable.

We had a lot of black redstarts around as well, but I was lucky to see this stonechat who was hunting with them. This is a full month earlier than we've even seen stonechats. It never really made sense that we only see migrating birds in a single week in April, as the migrating birds heading further north presumably have to pass us earlier.

We've had a few herons around the pond too and I've seen them catching fish.

Tuesday 15 March 2022

A crane was erected opposite us over the weekend. These starlings seemed to think it was for them.

Starlings on crane, Christophstal March 2022

Starlings on crane, Christophstal March 2022

Sunday 13 March 2022
Upper garden, Christophstal March 2022

Upper garden, Christophstal March 2022

Bauengarten in progress, Christophstal March 2022

Bauengarten in progress, Christophstal March 2022

Bauerngarten upper corner, Christophstal March 2022

Bauerngarten upper corner, Christophstal March 2022

Snowdrops and crap, Christophstal March 2022

Snowdrops and crap, Christophstal March 2022

It was our first real spring day today and it reached the heady heights of 14.5oC, although it felt even warmer in the sun.

We've laid out a path through our upper garden and moved the snowdrops out of the path. The snowdrops and crocuses are looking fantastic up there right now.

I've added a few other photos of our stalled garden work. The last photo is for comparison with previous years.

Saturday 5 March 2022

The return of the spring birds continued today with our first dunnock of the year and we've started to see red kites regularly too - presumably scanning the valley for the first frogs and toads to appear. It's been so cold overnight that it seems unlikely that they'll find anything. Every night this week has been below -7oC. We've heard lots of people say that it has been a mild winter. It hasn't been here!!

Friday 4 March 2022

The spring birds have started appearing. We had lots of mistle thrushes around the house today.

Mistle thrush, Christophstal March 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal March 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal March 2022

Mistle thrush, Christophstal March 2022