Monday, 13 April 2009

I can't believe this weather! The last 3 mornings have been dull, grey, and misty, and each day progressively worse on the mist front, so much so I didn't even bother taking my camera out today.

A 3 and a half hour walk from 06:45 was all I had time for today, but still managed a good total of 48 species. Most of these were seen rather than heard, as bird song was very limited, only 4 CHIFFCHAFF and 2 BLACKCAP were heard, I know for a fact there are more than that about!
I checked the lake for the Shoveler ducks, but they had moved on, only a few MALLARD and MOORHEN remained, and the two now seemingly resident CORMORANT sitting in their tree.

At the halfway point of my walk I had got 44 species on the day list, a really good tally, and I didn't expect to add more than one or two more at Migrant Alley, and the college grounds, I was almost proved right, 4 more did in fact go on the list - a MEADOW PIPIT flew over the plough, a couple of SWALLOWS were over the greenhouse complex and a GOLDCREST was finally picked up at the college grounds, bird of the day though went to a KINGFISHER that flew up the college stream, my first this month, in fact the first since the 22nd of Feb.
Other birds of some note today were 5 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, on the sheep paddocks at migrant alley, a singing WILLOW WARBLER in one of the large gardens along Ashes Lane, and a SPARROWHAWK that flew over the tree nursery, clutching some unfortunate victim.

PS. Still no Cuckoo! Have I lost the local bird that has been here every year, or is it still on it's way? Hopefully the latter, and it will turn up tomorrow.

* Late News: I had a quick walk round the plough at migrant alley with my good lady wife (bless her) this afternoon, and as we rested on the horse jump, I heard a COMMON SANDPIPER (124: 88) going over! I just caught it in my bins as it sped NE. A fantastic tick for my patch!


Alastair said...

The Willow Warbler id is interesting. Behaviour, song and call will usually clinch it. Foot colour is better than leg colour if you can see it. The top of the three pics shows a typical WW "look" to me, the supercilium, the plumage tones indicate WW. The second pic would appear to show a long primary projection.

On the Cuckoo front, I would be thinking this is still pretty early for Cuckoo; certainly so up here but even in Kent. I know there have been a few "down south" already but last week of this month, first of next will be on time for me.

Kelly said...

Once again, your nature exploits are inspiring (you "only" had time for a 3.5 hour walk...). I'm happy if I can squeeze in 1-2 hours daily. It is raining here and predicted for the next few days. Maybe your Cuckoo is waiting for happier weather!

EP Andy said...

Hi Warren

Don't worry about your Cuckoo, it's probably still on its way. 'My' local pair haven't turned up yet. I usually have a pair that roost each night in the copse at the bottom of my garden and certainly no sign of them yet. After all it is still only mid-April.

The Early Birder said...

Cuckoo...have patience. One has been heard at Bookham Common but not seen yet!
Great news about the Common Sandpiper - Well done mate.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
You certainly know how to spoil that lady of yours . A walk and a sit on the horse jump .
I left Carol gardening when I went out .
Well done with the Com.Sandpiper .

Anonymous said...

A new species for the patch, Warren. Well done, mate.
I also had new one, in the form of a Shelduck.

Steve said...

Hi Warren, just catching up after a holiday in Scotland. Fantastic to hear how well you are doing. Nice one with the Common Sand.

Phil and Mandy said...

A good number of spots Warren, shame about the weather though, it was lovely at Dungeness.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren
What a day you had yourself, and to get a Common Sand on your patch, well that's great.
Your wife certainly is a lucky charm for you. When you taking her out again? And if your not, can I borrow her?

ShySongbird said...

Shame about the weather, it finally cheered up here mid-afternoon. That's a jolly good list of birds again! I haven't seen a Kingfisher for ages and well done on the Sandpiper.

Simon said...

Well done with the Common Sandpiper today Warren.

darrell j prest said...

well done with the patch tick