Searching for Spring

Yesterday Keith and I went to Tilbury and Gravesend in search of spring migrants and early Butterflies and Bees. We were hopeful as we started as the sun shone down and the temperature was the warmest it had been for weeks.

We spent the morning on Tilbury Marsh. Oystercatcher, Redshank and Shelduck were on the tidal mud together with Teal, Mallard and Gadwall on the river. Three species of geese were present on the fields (Greylag, Canada and Egyptian) but no sign of any migrant birds or butterflies.

In the afternoon we took the ferry back to Gravesend and walked along the riverfront. 3 species of Gull (Black-headed, Common, and Herring) were present on the tidal mud-flats together with Mute Swans, Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank. We returned to the town centre through Riverside Park. The vegetation on the lake has been ‘trimmed’, so much so that there is hardly anything left for the birds to nest in or use as shelter. here we recorded a number of small birds including Blackbird, Robin, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Wren. And finally, as the day came to an end, we saw our only Bee, a Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee which we watched prospecting for a nest site. So at the last a first sign of spring.


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