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Wildlife - March

Resident seabirds are becoming more active as they prepare for the breeding season. Shags carry nesting material, pairs of Razorbills and Guillemots renew their bonds on the water and Fulmars can be heard cackling from the cliff crevices.

This month is usually good for Bottlenose dolphin sightings - (please report all sightings).

At sea, Scoter, Divers and Mergansers continue to pass, while the first Sandwich Terns, Swallows and Sand Martins should be returning after spending winter in Africa. Foxes or a Black Redstart may be around Tilly Whim, and on the cliff, the white-flowered Early Scurvy Grass begins to bloom.

The spring migration is getting underway in earnest with the arrival of Wheatears and overhead passage of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails, plus an occasional glimpse of a quick visiting Ring Ouzel. From the top of the yellow flowering Gorse bush a Yellowhammer or a Stonechat is likely to be seen.

Towards the tail of the month the beautiful white flowers of the Blackthorn will be on show. The early flowers starting to show on the short downland turf include Whitlow Grass and Hairy Violet.

A warm day will bring Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies to sight and reptiles such as Common Lizard, Slow Worm and Adder may emerge to bask in the sunlight.

The woodland chorus from Blackbird, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest can be joined by the thin seep of a Treecreeper.

The Daffodils are blooming along with Lesser Celandine, Greater Periwinkle and Winter Heliotrope. The large leaves of the Lords & Ladies (or Cuckoo pint or Parson in the Pulpit to give it but three names), cover the woodland floor.

A striking Bullfinch is often glimpsed amongst the new leaves, whilst in the branches Grey Squirrels take part in chases bouncing from one tree to the next.

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ZoomClick images for larger versions:
Gorse in Flower
Gorse. Photo: Dom Greves

Blackthorn Flowers
Blackthorn Blossom. Photo: Dom Greves

Slow Worm
Slow Worm. Photo: Dom Greves