Saturday, 18 April 2009

Once again it was a pretty dire morning, weatherwise. I have been out nine mornings out of the last ten, and I dont think the sun has been seen on more than one of them! Such is the spiteful nature of the month of April.

I left the house at 06:30, and it was barely light, a cold North wind blew and I knew this morning wasn't going to be one for seeing the expected migrants that should be on my patch anyday now. I proceeded anyway, and spent 90 mins around the Smallholding, wet woods and lake/scrub area. Finding birds was difficult, as song was very limited, a couple of CHIFFCHAFF sang as did a BLACKCAP, and even the resident species were quiet, MISTLE THRUSH, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, WREN and BLACKBIRD were heard, but it wasn't like an April morning at all.

I had reached the halfway point of my walk and had recorded 34 species! At least 6 off the pace, I thought about leaving the second part of the walk for later, as it was meant to brighten up, but no, I would press on. Ninety minutes later, after visiting the tree nursery, Migrant alley and the college grounds, I had added just 8 more species for the day list, the most noteworthy being the WHITETHROAT in the nursery. 42 species may seem alot, and indeed is a fair total for the 3 hours I was out, but the number of birds seen was well down, they dislike this weather as much as we humans!

I was back home by 09:30, and decided I would go back out, if and when the sun did! For once the weather presenter was right, and by 11:00 the first chinks of blue sky were piercing the grey blanket of cloud. I headed over to Migrant Alley and sat on the horse jump, and watched the sky and fields. Within a few minutes I spotted 4 HOUSE MARTINS over the Greenhouses, and I watched the SWALLOWS and PIED WAGTAILS dash around after the same insect prey, on and above the plough. Numerous sightings of SPARROWHAWK were had, and at least 30 HERRING GULLS went over, with 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, all headed west. The last bird on my list, which brought the total to a more respectable 45 was a YELLOWHAMMER, which called in the hedge by the horse jump.

Lets hope tomorrow will bring something more exciting, maybe the expected Lesser Whitethroat might turn up, or a long shot, the Nightingales will once again visit my patch.

I took a few pics today, so the camera is off the market. (-: Here's the better ones.

Below is one of the Herring Gull that went over.

Above is the YellowHammer and below the male SPARROWHAWK


Greenie said...

Warren ,
That cool wind certaily kept things very quiet up till lunchtime . At least it warmed up a bit after that .
Good luck for the next migrant .

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
I see that I'm not the only one to be pissed off with the weather. Although the migrant are here, the weather is very bad.. still raining and a lot of wind... I did not even dare to go out today!!!

ShySongbird said...

Glad the weather is improving a bit for you, it has been better here today, sunny but quite chilly.
Great photos again, I used to see quite a lot of Yellowhammers on local walks but haven't seen any for some time and I see that sadly they are yet another species in decline and on the red list according to the RSPB.

Kelly said...

...I hope your weather turns around is spring after all... The YellowHammer looks like a cute little bird--another new bird for me!

Kingsdowner said...

Sorry about the weather - you'll be pleaed to know that we take the brunt of the cold wind here!
Better today hopefully.
Lesser Throat and nightingale tesreday, but still no cuckoos here.