Garden Birding and Staying Home. March 2020.

What a month March has turned out to be, something more akin to a virus/zombie film at times when you hear headlines! The first week in March started with hope of spring and new arrivals, just 2 days in and Sarah and I watched a Barn Owl hunting along the hedgeline as we walked the dogs, the celandines had really taken over the lane verges which was lovely to see.
 I managed to get just two visits to the clifftops for some birding before the restrictions came into play, it was quiet but there were things to see and enjoy, I chill out just watching gulls drift past me with the hope of something more worthy of a smile from under the moustache!

 Most of the time the gulls consisted of Great Black-backed and Herring but I did get quite a wave of Common Gulls passing through one time, the Black-headed tend to drift over the house in numbers as they go to roost on the sea.

 There were a few reports coming through of Red Kites along the North Norfolk coast, I saw one from the garden on the 7th, a young bird which had been hanging around Sidestrand. Sparrowhawk is usually seen most days from the garden but this lovely male bird drifted past me on my final trip to the cliffs, usually they dash past but this one slowed down enough for a pose, later I had a pair dash past together hunting the clifftops.

 As I watched a pair of Muntjac moving through the scrub on the lower slopes I noticed this fox following up behind them, the deer had noticed him but calmly watched as he went about looking for food, stopping at the slightest movement in case it was a vole. It could hear my camera clicking but couldn't quite make me out tucked up on the clifftop.
 With the weather a lot brighter it was only a matter of time before the first butterflies put in an appearance in the garden, first up was a Small Tortoiseshell followed by a few Brimstone's and a Peacock. 
 The garden birds were either in full song and displaying or already collecting nesting material. 
 On the 17th and for the second time since living in Norfolk, another B2 Stealth plane flew over, this one was not as jaw droppingly close as the first but still a sight to behold, apparently there had been a pair passing over but only one was seen through the wispy cloud.
On a morning walk we counted 13 Hares running around and boxing, great to see.
As restrictions started to be imposed, the dog walk of the day became a bird walk too, my first Chiffchaff  of the year singing and a Hooded crow briefly before being sent on its way by a pair of Carrion crows.
Back Garden Birding
Birding now took place from the back garden, this was exciting as from my location anything could fly past. A group of 6 Common Buzzards drifted east and the local pair were displaying right opposite the garden, diving and locking talons before tumbling.

 One morning whilst sitting with breakfast coffee, I noticed a few small groups of Chafinch moving along the coast heading east, by the end of the day it had turned into a mass movement of the finches and a few hundred had passed over, this went into the next day with group after group heading over.

 A female Marsh Harrier slowly drifted east, these seem to be regular sight past the garden every year, a lone Curlew made itself heard as it circled around the garden before heading back towards the coast.

 The temperature dropped somewhat nearing the end of the month, but with sunny days it made it feel very spring like. Another butterfly was a Comma, thought I would of seen a Red Admiral by now?

 A pair of Coal Tit's kept still long enough for photos! usually they grab a bit of food and dart off immediately, but now they were romancing they had to time to pose.

 So a weird month with events we were not accustomed to, and maybe scary to think about at times, but immerse yourself in the wildlife and nature just outside your door and it all seems miles away.