I had a trip down to Holywell this afternoon, it was nice, and surprisingly Spring like in the sun, although the wind was still extremely strong!
My first 2 Swallows flew low overhead as I wandered down the cut between the house, great to see and a sign of things to come. Down at the main gate there was still a few Tree Sparrows about, some calling from the Birches near the boxes, hopefully we'll get some pairs breeding, and establish a new colony. A Small Tortoiseshell followed the sun, resting briefly, allowing a couple of snaps.
On the pond, 10 Pochards displayed near the hide, on the water with 1 Cormorant, 2 Mute Swan, a pair of Shoveler, 5 Teal, 14 Canada Geese, 4 Greylags, 6 Coot, 4 Little Grebe, 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Moorhen, 8 Mallard and a Grey Heron.
Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Pheasant fed in the feeding station, which had a few Coltsfoot flowering.
6 Sand Martins and a couple of Swallows hawked over the water, the first of the hirundines!
I've recently been reading 'Birdscapes' by Jeremy Mynott, a book about Birds in our imagination and experience, whilst watching the Pochard displaying, and Tufted Ducks sleeping nearby, my mind was taken back to the last chapter which talks about knowing the ins and outs of the common species, extensively. The thought, why do both male and female Tufted Ducks share golden/yellow eyes, yet male Pochards have astonishingly red eyes, and the females that of a darker colour?