Saturday, 25 April 2009

It was grey and overcast for this mornings visit, and a few light showers fell, but by mid-morning it had brightened up a bit, although still with a brisk southerly wind blowing.

The usual 20 or so resident birds were soon picked up for the day list as I walked up ashes lane, through the small holding and into the wet woods, but I had to wait until the lakeside scrub to hear the summer migrants. A CUCKOO was calling from the overhead telephone cables, whilst below in the scrub, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, WHITETHROAT, and LESSER WHITETHROAT all sang loudly. I thought I heard a brief snatch of Garden Warbler song, but it didn't sing again, frustratingly. It was good to see the first fledgling SONG THRUSH, hiding in the dense bramble. Still no Turtle doves though, I usually have a couple of pairs here, maybe mine were one of the 3 million shot each year by our friendly continental neigbours, no wonder they are getting so scarce!

The local SWALLOWS were dancing in the air over the tree nursery, and 3 HOUSE MARTINS flew over the Greenhouses. Migrant Alley still managed to produce a SKYLARK or two, and the PIED WAGTAILS of course, but with them today was a probable White Wagtail. (see pics and make your own mind up!) In the scrub at the north end of the fields a second Lesser Whitethroat sang, a third was singing by the electricity sub-station at Ashes Lane. I think it's in dispute over this piece of bramble, as it has been the territory of a Whitethroat for the last week, it was also singing!

A walk through the college gardens and grounds, made the day list up to 47, the highlight being another sighting of the two PEREGRINES. On one of the ponds the years first newly hatched MOORHENS were seen, 3 in all.

Also fully fledged, was this BLACKBIRD, one of two that was being fed on my lawn. (Chris - Blackbirds stay in britain all year round)
Here's dad, making sure the coast is clear!

I also took a photo of this GREENFINCH in the garden, a little too much sun on it, still, you cant have it all!

Below are 3 poor pics. of the White Wagtail. You can see its got clean flanks, and a sharp defining black nape on a grey back, probable a male white wag. The first ive seen on my patch. Shame it's not got full species status, as it's not been split from the Pied wag.

Also out on the now rolled field, was this ROOK.

While overhead 5 single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS went over, each one getting me excited, one might just turn out be a large raptor!

Lastly a quickly taken shot of one of the Peregrines, as it glided over.


Chris said...

Hi Warren,
What a day mate!!! Incredible again for you!! Ok I did not know blackbirds were staying all year around, but I suspected it as they do that in France too. Here they move back to Europe during winter just like almost all species.
I went out today to see 25 species, with lots of new migrants, such as golden plover, white wagtail, meadow pipit, snipe, ringed-plover and black tailed godwitt. Got very nice pictures of golden plover. I just reached 53 species seen in Iceland, with lots of breeding species missing... But I'll never reach 90 like you.
The greenfinch shot is cute, although it is a bit over-exposed ;-) Too much sun on it, wow that strange to say ;-)
Hope you get some more nice weather tomorrow.

Steve said...

A good day over there again Warren. I think you've got all our birds! Looks like a White Wag.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Nice one with the White Wagtail , first one that I have ever seen .
Can't you give yourself half a point for it ?

Anonymous said...

Looks bang for a White Wag. There`s rumours abound that they`re going to split it from Pied. So if they do, that`ll be an armchair tick.

Kelly said...

...always fun to see how many birds you will get for the day. I like your photos of the Wagtail...