Weather Summary - March 2024

Rainfall: 124.5 mm

Temp High: 17.6oC on 22nd

Temp Low: -2.8oC on 8th

Temp Average: 5.3oC

Saturday 30 March 2024

This wasp was sitting in one of our poppy plants. I have a book which shows all the faces of the European Wasps - this appears to be a Tree Wasp - but this is a bit early, so it would have to be a queen and even then it's too early.

Tree wasp, Christophstal March 2024

Tree wasp, Christophstal March 2024

Wednesday 27 March 2024
Fighting great tits, Christophstal 2024

Fighting great tits, Christophstal 2024

Fighting great tits, Christophstal March 2024

Fighting great tits, Christophstal March 2024

A group of six or seven great tits was speeding around the hazel today. We've seen a couple of them drop to the ground pulling feathers out of each other. I managed to get a photo of two of them facing off.

Monday 25 March 2024

A treecreeper was climbing up our willow above the bat box.

Also, this grey heron was gliding majestically across the pond like a swan. We presume that the pond has become a bit silted up and is shallow enough for him to walk across the pond like this.

The goldcrest was back outside my window again today.

This newly emerged male orange-tip butterfly on one of the wild tulip stems was the first I've seen this year - unfortunately, it's getting cold for the next few days so I don't think he'll be flying.

Treecreeper, Christophstal March 2024

Treecreeper, Christophstal March 2024

Heron floating like a swan, Christophstal March 2024

Heron floating like a swan, Christophstal March 2024

Heron, Christophstal March 2024

Heron, Christophstal March 2024

Goldcrest, Christophstal March 2024

Goldcrest, Christophstal March 2024

Goldcrest, Christophstal March 2024

Goldcrest, Christophstal March 2024

Male orange-tip on wild tulip, Christophstal March 2024

Male orange-tip on wild tulip, Christophstal March 2024

Friday 22 March 2024
Goldcrest, Christophstal March 2024

Goldcrest, Christophstal March 2024

A goldcrest has been hopping about in the spruce outside my office window. I don't usually get to photograph these so close-up.

Thursday 21 March 2024

A pair of magpies are nesting across the valley near the red kites - they keep coming to our garden to pull branches off our field maple and for the fallen birch branches that I piled up last weekend. I expect that the proximity of the red kite's nest will cause problems later in the year.

Magpie with branches (terrible photo), Christophstal March 2024

Magpie with branches (terrible photo), Christophstal March 2024

Magpie nest, Christophstal March 2024

Magpie nest, Christophstal March 2024

Monday 18 March 2024
Red kite pair, Christophstal March 2024

Red kite pair, Christophstal March 2024

Common toad, Christophstal March 2024

Common toad, Christophstal March 2024

This pair of red kites were taking a break from nest building across the valley.

In our pond, this common toad was splashing about.

Sunday 17 March 2024
<em>Platybunus pinetorum</em>, Christophstal March 2024

Platybunus pinetorum, Christophstal March 2024

<em>Platybunus pinetorum</em>, Christophstal March 2024

Platybunus pinetorum, Christophstal March 2024

<em>Platybunus pinetorum</em>, Christophstal March 2024

Platybunus pinetorum, Christophstal March 2024

<em>Platybunus pinetorum</em>, Christophstal March 2024

Platybunus pinetorum, Christophstal March 2024

At the end of summer last year, I identified my first harvestman and I was fascinated by the other species that can be found. In particular I wanted to see one of the species with strange eye capsules.

This morning, I spotted this Platybunus pinetorum which did indeed have the sort of eye capsule that I was looking for. I'll continue to look out for more species over this year.

Wednesday 13 March 2024

We spotted a sick-looking long-tailed tit this morning. Shortly afterwards, the sick individual was on the ground and two other long-tailed tits were seemingly attacking it.

I did some online research and there are no other records of any aggressive behaviour from long-tailed tits, so it is likely that something else was going on here. Christine wondered whether they might be performing some form of euthanasia. My theory is that they were trying to get the individual to get off of the ground and they finished him off by accident.

Sick long-tailed tit, Christophstal March 2024

Sick long-tailed tit, Christophstal March 2024

Long-tailed tit 'attacking' sick individual, Christophstal Marsh 2024

Long-tailed tit 'attacking' sick individual, Christophstal Marsh 2024

Long-tailed tit 'attacking' sick individual, Christophstal Marsh 2024

Long-tailed tit 'attacking' sick individual, Christophstal Marsh 2024

Sick individual is dead, Christophstal Marsh 2024

Sick individual is dead, Christophstal Marsh 2024

Friday 8 March 2024
Fly TBI, Christophstal March 2024

Fly TBI, Christophstal March 2024

Fly TBI, Christophstal March 2024

Fly TBI, Christophstal March 2024

We have a lot of annoying little flies in the house at the moment. Most are just boring black things, but I spotted this one lying (dead) on the windowsill in my office. It was extremely small and there aren't a lot of distinguishing features (apart from the green metallic colouring and the long yellow legs). It could be a member of the Dolichopodidae family.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

A small group of long-tailed tits have been visiting us for several weeks now. Amongst the group is this one with an almost completely white head. Could this be a Northern long-tailed tit?

(Northern?) Long-tailed tit, Christophstal March 2024

(Northern?) Long-tailed tit, Christophstal March 2024

'Normal' long-tailed tit, Christophstal March 2024

'Normal' long-tailed tit, Christophstal March 2024

Sunday 3 March 2024
Honeybee and crocus, Christophstal March 2024

Honeybee and crocus, Christophstal March 2024

There were a few honeybees and bumblebees flying around the garden today.

Saturday 2 March 2024

Our beautiful dwarf irises have flowered, although there are a lot fewer in our rock garden this year.

A blackbird was having a drink in our pond this morning - enjoying the fact that it isn't raining for once.

The nicer weather meant I could spend a bit of time with my camera in the garden. The snowdrops are very early this year and there are lots of insects exploiting the early pollen. I thought this hoverfly might be interesting as it is so early - it is a new species for the garden, Melangyna quadrimaculata.

There was a new bug record for the garden with this Rhyparochromus pini emerging from hibernation on the wooden side of our raised beds. According to my insect books (but not the internet), as the name suggests, this is a specialist pine-feeder, so it's no surprise to find it here.

I checked the pond for newts, but it's still a but early (and cold) for them. I did spot this caddis fly larva hauling round a spectacular case.

Dwarf irises, Christophstal March 2024

Dwarf irises, Christophstal March 2024

Blackbird, Christophstal March 2024

Blackbird, Christophstal March 2024

Snowdrops, Christophstal March 2024

Snowdrops, Christophstal March 2024

<em>Melangyna quadrimaculata</em>, Christophstal March 2024

Melangyna quadrimaculata, Christophstal March 2024

<em>Rhyparochromus pini</em>, Christophstal March 2024

Rhyparochromus pini, Christophstal March 2024

Caddis fly larva with case, Christophstal March 2024

Caddis fly larva with case, Christophstal March 2024