Monday, 30 March 2009

The day dawned sunny, but frosty, and it warmed up nicely to around the high fifties F. , the ideal day to be out looking for that first spring Blackcap, but I had to be at work! I did get to see a nice flock of around 40 SISKIN though as I passed through the college grounds at 07:15.

At 14:00 I was of out on my patch, and it was sunny and warm, but a singing Blackcap was not located, i'm much less likely to hear one in the afternoon, however there was a 'first for the year' , in the form of a Grass Snake, unfortunately it heard me coming and slithered of quickly into the brambles. Just above where it made it's escape, is the LONG TAILED TITS nest which is at the footpath between the wet woods and lakes, I watched from cover for a while, and was pleased to see one of the birds bringing in feathers to line the nest. A quick scan of the lakes was a waste of time, as it normally is at this time of year, what with all the gardening going on around it! I was only there really to sit for a few minutes and listen out by the scrubby orchard for that Blackcap. In a couple of weeks or less this is where I hope to hear the first of many more spring migrants, especially the Nightingale, which didn't arrive last year, the first time ever.

I did my usual skywatch for an hour at Migrant Alley, and was pleased to see another SWALLOW, but that was it on the migrant front. A COMMON BUZZARD was soaring high and far to the NE, off my patch, and a few LINNETS went over the plough. A SPARROWHAWK put up the corvid flock, which was mainly JACKDAWS, around 60 of them, with some ROOKS and CARRION CROWS, a few of the local PIED WAGTAILS frequented the Greenhouse rooves, and a PHEASANT called, followed shortly after by the LITTLE OWLS in the copse.

The Brambling appears to have stopped coming to the garden, I last saw it yesterday evening, but a pair of Siskin are still feeding on the Sunflower hearts.

Not alot of action today despite the good weather, and I was foiled on all my attempted photo's, not that there were many opportunities, still you have to take the rough with the smooth, and tomorrow's another day!


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Shame you didn't get a shot of the Grass Snake . Had a quick walk over the Common , but only got Chiffchaff and LT Tits , a few Brimstones , a Comma and a Peacock . Finished painting the outside of the house this evening . Now got loads of 'brownie points' .

lee said...

Hi Warren, soon there will be so many warblers and such like you wont no which way to turn first,but then it gets frustrating because you cant get a good look at them because of the new green leaves. Still looking forward to it though. I got my first swallows tonight just 2 but good to see.

Kelly said...

...I like the term "patch." I read your description of it in the sidebar. I don't think we really have an equivalent...maybe "stomping grounds?" Does a "patch" have to be within walking distance of your house, or is it just a place where you regularly go birding?

ShySongbird said...

Very good list of birds Warren and a good sighting of the Grass Snake.