Monday, 6 April 2009

The last of the sunny weather was had today, (apparently!) and it was a joy to be out on my patch this afternoon. I paid the usual visit to the lake area and the scrubby orchard, mainly to see if any new spring migrants had arrived, maybe a Willow Warbler, Cuckoo, or even the Nightingale ? Alas none had arrived, but it will only be a matter of days now!

Whilst I was there, I heard two BLACKCAPS and 4 CHIFFCHAFFS, all were really giving some song big time, as was a COAL TIT, as if it was trying not to be left out! GOLDCREST and BULLFINCH put in an appearance, and so did the 'scolding' GREAT TIT, which allowed me a nice photo of it.

On the way to migrant alley, I actually found something in the tree nursery of note, or rather going through it, my first Orange Tip butterfly, I think these little beauties are my favourite butterflies.

At migrant alley I sat and scanned the fields, but no migrants were seen, in fact very little passerine action was noted, just PIED WAGTAILS and a single SKYLARK. After 40 mins or so, I decided to take a walk round the ploughed field, paddocks and scrub headland, at the latter another two Chiffchaff were really going for it, and in a sheltered area, out of the wind, I found another Peacock butterfly, and a Comma, but what was nice, was seeing a Tortoiseshell butterfly, another first for the year, this butterfly was really scarce here last year.

As I got 3 quarters of the way round the fields, I scanned the sky, and this time saw a distant BUZZARD, it came ever closer and passed over my head, but it was quite high. I remembered the peregrine saw off the Buzzard, and wondered if it would show up again, imagine how pleased I was when not one, but two showed up! They dived the unsuspecting Buzzard from above, with angled back wings and legs out stretched, what a sight to watch! i got back to my seat and just as I looked up, a KESTREL flew over, another 3 raptor day, now where was that sparrowhawk ? The latter never did show, but as I checked my photo's on the camera ( silly thing to do!) I heard all the Pied Wagtails go beserk over the greenhouse complex, Sparrowhawk I thought, but as I fiddled to get the camera set again, one of the Peregrines flew low over my head, and was away before I knew it, dont sit looking at pictures youve taken in the field! Good tip!!

Above is the angry Great Tit, telling me off.
Above is my first Orange tip of the year, and below a couple of pics. of the Tortoise shell

It was a butterfly day today, here's another Peacock photo.

Here's the Comma that was with the above

Below is the Buzzard that went over

Below is the Kestrel

lastly the two Peregrines that saw of the Buzzard, they were very high up, so not very good photo's, but a good record for my archives.


EP Andy said...

Hi Warren

What a day, you watching Peregrines and a Buzzard over your patch, I wish, and me stuck in an office. One day it might happen. Can you put up a little signpost on your stile that points to East Peckham, saying Buzzards and Peregrines this way.

Anonymous said...

Yep, what a day, Warren. And some great photos, too.

Mike H said...

Hi Warren

What can I say its been said before a great day out for you and some good photos to remind you. Unlike some of us who only popped out to get a sandwich !!!!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
What a cracking day . Well done , you've beaten me to the Orange Tips . Keep an eye out for the female now , dirty grey/black tips , not orange .
Your Tortoiseshell is the Small , much rarer is the Large , but they do turn up . Duller in colour , bit bigger , no white spot on ends of forewings . Just 3 spots , all the same colour on the front edge .

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Again what a day for you! Congrats this must have been really enjoyable! I love the great tit and the buzzard pictures, there are really great. Well done mate.

Kelly said...

Wow...the butterflies are gorgeous!! ...and again, sounds like great birding.

Tricia said...

I do hope they're wrong about the weather but I suspect they're not - more's the pity. We'll lose the flutters for a bit if it rains!

Great pics today too

and please could you have another sign - pointing towards Surrey? They could call at East Peckham first of course :D

Simon said...

Sounds like you had a super day Warren. Brilliant photos.

NW Nature Nut said...

We just don't have the butterflies here like you do. I really enjoy watching the British blogs for my butterfly fix!

Anonymous said...

Your orange tip and peacock butterflies are something very special to look at and admire.

fishing guy said...

Warren: You get great butterflies in you area of England.