Members Update 14th March 2023

SPOT THE BEE FLY UPDATE 14 March 2023

Hello, here we are again, back from our four weeks in not so sunny Spain, apart from our last week there was a consistent chilly wind blowing, however, this did not stop us getting out and about every day walking the local area along with a few coach excursions and bus and train outings. We were staying in Calpe on the Costa Blanca and not only was our hotel next to the sea but an added bonus was a large saline lake just across the road. We took many walks around the lake, mainly attracted by some 200 Flamingo’s eager to be photographed, albeit they spent most of their time standing on one leg and with their heads tucked under their wings!

I should add that our holiday was not necessarily nature biased but we did manage a few photos of the birds and flowers which we will use to kick off this update.

As promised, and as requested, we will continue with the Bee Fly and so look forward to your contributions which we hope will be more numerous as Spring is about to be sprung!

We will start this update with the following lovely message we received from Connie Taylor just before we left for our holiday. – Thank you Connie, very much appreciated!

“Yes, Please, Mike: Keep ‘em coming!

They brighten my life.

Because, as the song said: ‘Don’t get around much anymore.’

Every good wish, Connie Taylor”

At about the same time we received the following contribution from Ian and Viv, - but, before you read it, we must mention an amazing coincidence which occurred upon our arrival at Alicante airport, - we were waiting in the queue at the baggage reclaim conveyor when this voice behind us said “Is that Mike & Jenny”? It was Ian and Viv, they had been travelling on the same aircraft and then to top that, they came on the same coach taking us to our respective hotels. It’s a small world!

“Hi Mike. Happy new year to you and Jenny. Our garden bird watch results were that we observed 14 different species.

The most common were Blue Tit, Great Tit and Goldfinch. We recorded four of each but in fact it was very difficult to count accurately.

Firstly, they flitted in and out so fast and in such frequency that it was difficult to ascertain how many were present at any one time.

Secondly, there is a large Juniper tree in my neighbour’s garden that I could see had at least a dozen small birds in it that took it in turns to fly down to our feeder before returning to cover in the tree.

If two were on the feeder at one time I counted that as two even though I could see that they were part of a significant community.

We had a pair of Bullfinches this year for the first time in this garden but the pair of Blackcaps that we see from time to time did not show up in our hour.

This was a very much improved count to last year in that there was almost double the total number of birds counted; last spring and summer was probably a good breeding period.

Clearly the survival rate, during the two very cold snaps we have had this winter, has been good so far.

On a less successful note. I have been trying in vain to photograph our local population of Little Egrets. A local farmer has two damp field beside the A30 near us.

After rain there is typically two or three inches of water across large patches of them. When this happens as many as a dozen Egrets flock there to feed.”

Unfortunately, there is nowhere to stop on the busy road and each time I have parked in nearby Milborne Port and walked back they have gone by the time I get there.

Perseverance is the answer I know and when I get the picture you shall have it.

Kind regards, Ian & Viv”

Now a few photos from Spain: