Daily blog from Gilling East, Sketchbook

5th April- whimbrel, song thrush and 7 spot

I had another session listening for common scoters yesterday night. The waxing gibbous moon was high and bright with a ruby halo. I listened hard, local tawny owls and nearby displaying lapwings occasionally punctuated the silence. Then at 11.20pm a loud, rippling whistle, unmistakably a whimbrel on its way North, followed shortly by a bright meteor. I didn’t hear any scoters but it shows, you never know what you might see or hear.


I am sure many of us are taking a fresh look at the everyday pleasures of the natural world. We dug a new flower bed in the back lawn and retreated to watch birds find food in freshly turned ground. Soon down was a song thrush. What a beautiful bird- warm brown upperparts and those triangular and arrowhead shaped speckles on an rich yellow ochre background. A pair explored the sepia soil finding plenty to eat. In the early morning and evening they serenade us with loud clear song. As I watched the song thrush this morning, a small flock of redwing flew over- will this be the last redwing sighting of Spring? Will October be the next time we see redwings…?

My seven year old son Ptolemy is brilliant at spotting all manner of animals and deserves equal credit for this blog! Today, his spot or 7 spot of the day, was a pair of 7 spot ladybirds mating on the garden table! Wonderful to see this species well as the non-indigenous harlequin seems to account for most ladybird records these days. A small white butterfly flew through the garden, again spotted by my son. We hoped for our first swallow today, but that pleasure still awaits us.

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