Archive for March 7th, 2011

7th March 2011, Monday

An early Bombus hypnorum

Today at Bellhurst Wood beside Hobbs Lane, Beckley, a queen Bombus hypnorum, the so-called Tree Bumblebee, was basking on a tree trunk, kindly identified for me by Brian Banks who was visiting the wood. Stuart Roberts, chairman of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society, has commented that this is only the fourth UK occurrence reported to the society in 2011.

This species has spread very quickly since the first UK record in Hampshire in 2001 – see for a description, photos and an up-to-date map. A search on ‘hypnorum’ on the rxwildlife site brings up several previous local reports and photos.

7th March 2011, Monday

Two Sundays at Pett

Sunday 27th Feb & Sunday 6th March 2011. Still good numbers of Wigeon with 2/300 on the pools or around the marsh, no change at all in two weeks, with Shoveler, gadwall, Teal, Mallard in good supply. Seen on the sea, Common Scoters 30, Goldeneye 1 ( drake) and 59 R.T.Divers west all seen on the 27th Feb. with 3Velvet Scoters and 4 Scaup (3 adult drakes, flew eastward), with 200 Brent Geese in two big flocks, the movements only started at high tide, on the 3rd March. Birds of prey over the past two Sundays have been good with 6 Buzzards in the air together on the 27th and 2 on the 3rd, Marsh Harrier one to three birds can be seen, with 2 Peregrines together, roosting on the field behind the pools, also on the 3rd. Other birds of interest 5 Bearded Tit 27th Feb at the pools, and 6 W.F.Geese which flew around the pools and marsh on the 3rd March, Good bird watching Pete.

7th March 2011, Monday

New raptor over our garden

Whilst working on a report just now I spotted a falcon circling over a neighbours house. We occasionally see kestrel, but not for some time, so I grabbed my bins.  This bird was chunkier, with an obvious broad dark moustach and as I watched a second, smaller bird dived down past it and the first bird rolled over so the two appeared to almost touch tallons. The first pair of peregrine I have seen over our garden in Northiam.  I watched them for about 5 minutes as they circled higher and higher.  The male tried a second approach to the female before they separated slightly at great height and then drifted off eastwards.