March 2017

23rd. If the blue rock thrush left on the day that the days got longer than the nights, on a fairly clear moonlit night, and given what I saw of it (on the mossy rooftops), I would tick it. The genetic evidence was not clear - OK, it wasn't an Eastern subspecies (which may have made it more likely to be a captive bird), though the Stow bird still nested in the phylogeny with a captive individual of a western race: the likely migration date may do it for me. However, it turned up nearby a few days later, so maybe it's still there.....

20th. 20 greater scaup off Moreton, Chew. Common sandpiper at the dam.

greater scaup

13th. Chiffchaff singing, Long Ashton.

12th. Forest of Dean with Adrian Woodhall. We saw Dipper and 3 hawfinches at Parkend, and heard a lesser spotted woodpecker drumming at Parkend Church. One goshawk, 2 peregrines at New Fancy View. Tree creeper and one mandarin at Cannop Ponds, then siskin, lesser redpoll and the great grey shrike at Crabtree Hill.

great grey shrike

Common lizards now emerging in the mild Spring temperatures.

common lizard

11th. Avon Gorge, hoping to photograph peregrines. Although up to 5 birds were present, they were always distant and the light was poor. A goosander flew high down the Avon.

I was in Tuscany 1-7 March. The weather was cool and blustery, and I saw few birds - great egrets, displaying buzzards, and marsh tits. Two likely woodlark in the meadow on the hill above Lucie's house. The camera trap captured a big wild boar, a pair of porcupines and up to 4 roe deer, with the stag in velvet.

roe deer

wild boar


Stinking hellebores are flowering in the forest.

stinking hellebore

stinking hellebore

Cimabue's crucifix (ca. 1265) in the Chiesa di San Domenico, Arezzo, and a scene from the antiques market.

San Domenico

San Domenico

San Domenico


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