Monday, 2 March 2009

Now we are entering march, my afternoon walks will slowly become more bias towards Migrant Alley and the surrounding fields, where early spring migrants are more likely to be encountered, and the visits to the lake area and wet woods become briefer, as the only early migrants to be picked up here will be the Chiffchaff, and Blackcap. Todays visit through the wet woods was very quiet, which surprised me, as it was a lovely sunny afternoon, I couldn't locate the feeding flock, but did find a couple of GOLDCREST and 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS squabbling noisily over territories. At the lake area, I was disappointed to find that the Coot had not stayed, but that soon turned to sheer delight, for instead of a Coot, there were a pair of GOOSANDER (74) Yes! just what I needed to boost my morale, a year tick. The Male looked absolutley stunning in the sunshine, and I fired off a few distant photo's, but they do nothing for him! Feeling pleased with myself, I left the Goosanders in peace and went over to Migrant Alley, via the tree nursery, where all the remaining stock in one of the fields was being shredded through a big machine, so there was nothing to be seen there, apart from a MEADOW PIPIT, a species not seen yesterday. It flew in and alighted on an elder tree - Pipit in a tree - Tree pipit! might be a very early migrant, I can dream! However as I crept nearer to it and gave it a proper look I was disappointed, but it did give me some decent photo opportunities. Just before entering Migrant Alley another species not seen yesterday appeared - a KESTREL, it flew low over and landed on the cowling of a converted oasthouse. I sat on my horse jump once at migrant alley, and scanned the fields for a very early Wheatear, or maybe a Black Redstart, well, I suppose i am jumpimg the gun a bit! All I saw were, JACKDAWS, ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and STOCK DOVES and a Lone HERRING GULL that flew over. Oh well, I'll keep looking, it wont be long now, a good couple of hours were had and three more new species for the month, brings the 50 up.

Above and below are a couple of photo's of the Male GOOSANDER. What a handsome bird!

Below is the Meadow pipit. You can see the diagnostic long hindclaw in clearly.







10 comments:

Fraser Simpson said...

Good capture of the Meadow Pipit's hind claw! A feature usually missed in most photos of this species. Well done.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
A real find the pair of Goosander .
Keep your eyes open , male Wheatear and Black Redstart on the South Downs yesterday .

Kelly said...

...such interesting birds. That hind claw is unique!

Stewart said...

Hi Warren, I've been reading your patch 'instructions' in the side column. I like it. Once I get moved in to my new place I might have to copy your model...

Cheers S...

Adam said...

Well done on Goosander, what a path find! Like Greenie says Wheaters and Sand Martins reported in south-east today.

Adam

John Young said...

Some nice posts recently. Fingers crossed for a sprinkling of spring migrants soon.

Ken said...

Hi Warren. What a day. I would be quite happy to swap a Coot for 2 Goosander's.Although I do like the Mipit shots, well done.

EP Andy said...

Warren

Goosander, top bird for the area. Nice one.

Chris said...

hi Warren,
Well done for the goosander and the meadow pipit. While the first one stay in winter here, the second one still did not come back from its migration.

Warren Baker said...

Andy I visited you patch (on the map !) It looks a very interesting area.The habitat looks better than mine! Gravel pits,river and a sewage farm ! bliss.