The early bird

I dashed out for a pre-work walk around the Brooks this morning, in the hope of finding some migrants.  It was a bit quiet, with a few Reed Warblers in, but not the hoped for Grasshopper Warbler, which has ignored some good looking habitat for quite a few years now.  Setting out for a brisk walk back to get to my desk in reasonable time, it all went wrong: there was a Gropper yelling its head off where I’d been 20 minutes earlier.  Of course Karen wasn’t there, but she was able to dash over in a quarter of an hour while it was still noisy.  Eventually it showed, never unobscured, but the closest and loudest Gropper we’ve ever had.  I’ll admit it: I might have been a bit late to my desk.

230420 Gropper-001
Grasshopper Warbler

Spot the difference

Bird migration is moving slowly, but insects provided a bit of interest today.  The garden had bees, hoverflies and a Dark-edged Bee Fly, some Mining Bees nesting in the road gave us an ID challenge, and then, only a few hours after we discovered that there is another cute Bee Fly species in the area, we were surrounded by them.  Looking back, my last post had a picture of a Dotted Bee Fly as well, but we didn’t spot the difference, because we’d never heard of it.

230416 Insects-002
Common Carder Bumblebee
Tapered Dronefly
230416 Insects-001
Dark-edged Bee Fly
230416 Insects-006
Noon Fly, a new insect for us
230416 Insects-005
Dotted Bee Fly, showing a white stripe on its backside
230416 Insects-004
Dotted Bee Fly, a new insect for us
230416 Insects-003
Yellow-legged Mining Bee


As spring advances, the birds are trickling in, with the first Swallows in from the sea being a highlight for me.  The pond is livening up and the butterflies are increasing.

230407 Sussex-001
Smooth Newt
230407 Grass Snake-001
Our first Grass Snake of the year
230408 Lamb-001
Well, it is Easter
230407 Sussex-004
Dotted Bee Fly. We failed to notice the difference because we never knew they existed.
230407 Sussex-003
230407 Sussex-002
Small White