Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The afternoon was sunny and warm again today,and the temperature was at least 70F, great to be out in. I decided to split the afternoon into 2 parts, an hours sit in the scrubby area by the lake, and then a couple of house over at migrant alley.

At the scrub area I was hoping to hear either, Lesser Whitethroat, turtle Dove, or the now less likely Nightingale, but none of them were seen or heard. The first two species are normally recorded in the last week of Apr. so it shouldn't be long before they arrive, but the Nightingale should really be here by now if it's going to use my patch. The most obvious songster was by far the BLACKCAP, followed by CHIFFCHAFF, a few resident species sang intermittently, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNCK, BLACKBIRD and SONGTHRUSH, but in the wamth of the afternoon most species were probably resting up.

I made my way over to Migant Alley, and settled on my seat to watch the fields and sky. It wasn't long before the SPARROWHAWK was sighted, one of three sightings, and a BUZZARD was seen soaring just to the north of my patch. The Local PEREGRINE was about, and it flew over to Oxon hoath birders patch. A little later it was seen again, this time with another one, they chased around for a few minutes and headed SE. After an hour or so a tractor turned up to harrow the plough field, this brought in all the local rooks, around 90 in all, with their loyal escorts the JACKDAWS. 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS joined them, and 6 mixed age HERRING GULL also came in to pick the morsels being exposed by the harrow. The fourth Raptor of the day turned up to the party, a KESTREL, always a good day to get four raptor species in an afternoon.

After 2 and a half hours watching, I hadn't recorded anything new for the month, or the year, a Migrant Hobby would have been the icing on the cake, but that will probably be a May bird. I gave one last scan of the plough, which was now a fine tilth, and checked the PIED WAGTAILS and LINNETS, while listening to a SKYLARK, nothing new, so I did a circuit of the field, via the scrub headland to the north of migrant alley, just in case that lesser Whitethroat had turned up, but it hadn't. Oh well, i'll try again tomorrow, I know they are on their way!

Above is the ploughed field being Harrowed, and the Rooks and Jackdaws love it! Below is a Rook with it's crop full of food for it's nestlings.


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Great shot of the Rook .

Dean said...

The lack of birds may be down to the change of wind direction. We`re back with a westerly bias.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren
Sorry you didn't have a very good day today, still thank god for the Raptors. Hope you have a better day tomorrow, . You never know maybe someone will give you a call about a bird on your patch.

Chris said...

HI Warren,
Pleaaaaaaaaaase send me some sun ;-) Well we had few sunny hours today and I finally managed to go out, even if I came back wet and cold... I went to photograph turnstone, but now I have to post-treat lots of pictures. They'll come soon on my blog. Rook and jackdaws are not present in Iceland so it is nice that you showed some pictures of them ;-)

Kelly said...

...nice shots. I've always heard of Rooks, but I never knew what they looked like. I had no idea they were so similar to our large crows. (Chris, I feel your pain. My hubby just told me they are predicting snow flurries tonight. It is supposed to warm up later this week though.)