Above: The Brambling. Eating weetabix for breakfastsure does the trick, thanks for the tip greenie.
After work, I was back out this afternoon to look for spring migrants, the most likely of which would be the Blackcap. My first call was at the smallholding, plenty of GOLDFINCH'S were around, probably from my feeders, only 50yards away. A GREEN WOODPECKER and a PIED WAGTAIL were in the old orchard, and a BULLFINCH could be heard, but no Blackcap. I passed into the wet woods, where a small flock of CHAFFINCH flew up from the foor only a few yards away, I stopped and scanned them for another Brambling, but they were all Chaffinch's, however, my eye caught a small bird that was on a tree stump by one of the pools, I got my bins on it and found it to be a LESSER REDPOLL, great little birds to see, they don't always show up on my patch, but this is my second record this month. As I took a photo, it was joined by the male bird, in it's lovely breeding plumage. Pleased with that find, I thought I'd surely find my Blackcap, but no, I didn't, instead I had a bit of a treat by finding the first MALLARD young of the year 17 in all! Dabbling around with mum on another of the shallow pools.
Next the Blackcap hunt took me to the lake area, where..............no! There wasn't one here either, just 6 CANADA GEESE, 2 male Mallard and a couple of MOORHEN, with a CORMORANT perched at his now usual tree. In the surrounding lake scrub, I again found a TREECREEPER, and GOLDCREST, as well as a COAL TIT that was scolding me, I was probably near it's nest site.
On the way back from the lake, I discovered a LONG TAILED TITS nest, I couldn't get a pic of it as it was in some honeysuckle that was drapped over the boundary fence of the large house there, and I couldn't get near to it.
Passing through the tree nursery, all was quiet, just a CARRION CROW on the dried mud where the sapling trees had been, and the chance of that first Blackcap of the year had passed, as the habitat I was visiting from now on, isn't conducive for the Blackcap. Migrant Alley was my last stop, as usual, and an hours skywatching didn't give me anything new for the year, LESSER BLACK BACKED and BLACK HEADED GULS were all that went over! The ploughed field had nothing at all on it, once again all the birds were on the sheep pasture, around 250 Corvids were in with the lambs, mostly JACKDAWS and ROOKS, with just a few Carrion Crows. Just one SKYLARK sang the whole time I was there.
Below is the Female Redpoll, I was trying to be ''arty'' and get the reflection of the bird in the water, but I ended up focusing on the stump, and got a focussed pic. of niether!
I then had a chance to do the same shot with the male bird, and messed that up as well! My excuse was that i was shooting into the sun!!!
Below is a Coal Tit, if you look carefully you can see it's been ringed on it's left leg. A sure sign that my ringing mate has been busy in his garden, just a few yards up the road from me.
Finally, some of the 17 Mallard Ducklings, Once again not a very inspiring photo, but they kept scattering everywhere, like a lot of dropped marbles on a wooden floor!!