Sightings. March 2014.

Not having been out since up to the Lodge, I have only noted wildlife from the garden or work unfortunately. One night in the garden I counted about a dozen Common Newts in the pond, a couple were mating. Buzzards have been a plenty overhead and the odd group of Fieldfare have flown over calling. I had a Red Kite from the back garden, not sure if that is a first or not, but I am still awaiting a definite sighting of a Martin or Swallow, I am sure I caught a sighting of a Swallow but it did not re-appear from behind the houses, so it was a glimpse at best. At work on nights I have noticed a few moths starting to fly at night, and a Twin Spotted Quaker was rescued from a path and placed on a wall. Last night I found a Early Thorn, which are a lovely moth, more reminiscent of a butterfly settled on the wall. Off to the garden now to look for a Swallow.
Early Thorn

The Lodge RSPB. March 2014.

 With the weather certainly improving and the forecast of a bright morning, I headed up to The Lodge reserve in Sandy. My main quarry was Crossbill's, with the report of some Parrot Croosbill there I thought I'd give it a go. The weather was lovely and on approach to the Hill Fort I heard Crossbill, so it looked promising. The Ravens were very active and their loud raucous calls emanating from the wood. 
At times the Ravens were hidden away among the tree tops, or posing against the sun, nevertheless still providing a great silhouette. I managed to find a small gap between the branches to grab some images of one perched up surveying the area.

Then it became bolder and sat atop a pine and started to give it some! During this time I had a single male Crossbill fly over and out of sight, but the raucous Raven was company enough.

 As the temperature rose the raptors started to climb, and a handful of Common Buzzards circled over. But still no Crossbills. A nice bonus were 2 Brimstone butterflies that passed.

Approaching the 3 hour mark I started to think about heading home, not before I grabbed a few images of Sparrowhawk, I hadn't noticed the female before she departed without a photograph, but the male circled overhead before moving on, displaying to the nearby female. I saw another Sparrowhawk on the way back to the car park, grabbing another couple of flight shots. Even if the Crossbill's didn't show it was an enjoyable morning.