Saturday, 23 May 2009

I was out by 06:00 this morning, and spent 4 hours walking my patch. The weather, for once, was warm, sunny and windless. For such ideal conditions, the birds weren't singing that much, but I suppose most are now on their territories, and settling down to breed.

The first 15 species were rattled off quick time, STARLING, COLLARED DOVE, ROBIN, WREN, CHAFFINCH, HOUSE SPARROW, WOODPIGEON, MAGPIE, BLACKBIRD and JACKDAW were all seen as I walked along ashes lane towards the tree nursery, in the nursery itself, GOLDFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, CARRION CROW, MALLARD and BLUE TIT were recorded. 3 STOCKDOVES flew over, and just a few seconds later, a pair of CUCKOO'S did the same, the female was giving her distinctive ''bubbling'' call. A BULLFINCH called from the perimiter hedegrow, where a YELLOWHAMMER sang, the only one on territory on my patch, sadly. The next bird up was a WHITETHROAT, and as I watched a SWALLOW zip over my head, I caught sight of a CORMORANT flying over, only the 3rd one this month. As I left the nursery, to head over to Migrant Alley, I saw the first fledgling GREAT TITS of the year.

Once at Migrant Alley, ROOK, SKYLARK, GREY LAG GOOSE, and LINNET were seen, while a CHIFFCHAFF called from the scrub at the northern boundary. A HERRING GULL went over, as I was watching the HOUSE MARTINS and SWIFTS.

I made my way along the stream adjacent to the college grounds, where I added BLACKCAP and a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, possibly a second bird for my patch, but it could have been the one ive been seeing for the past week. A DUNNOCK was seen, somewhat belatedly, as I went into the college grounds, and a GREENFINCH was feeding youngsters in a large shrub. I watched a pair of MISTLE THRUSHE'S 'alarming' at something, but couldn't see what was upsetting them. A COAL TIT was seen at close quarters, collecting food for nestlings, and the last bird on the list from the College grounds was a MOORHEN. I noticed more Great Tits as I left, young birds seemed to be everywhere today!

I walked back to Migrant Alley, via the scrub at the northern boundary, where I was priviledged to witness a family of Blue Tits leaving their nestbox. TURTLE DOVES were heard 'purring'' and a GOLDCREST was in full song. A KESTREL was hunting around the Greenhouse complex, as I passed, upsetting all the PIED WAGTAILS. I gave one last glance back over the fields, and into the sky, and I was glad I did, as I saw the PEREGRINE go low over.

After a quick snack and drink I walked over to the lake area. GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS were next on the list, then a singing TREECREEPER was heard in the wet woods, where the first Mosquitoes were seen, and felt, feeding on me! In the scrub area by the lake, a pair of LESSER WHITETHROAT were seen, and at last I added LONG TAILED TIT to the day list. A GARDEN WARBLER gave a short burst of song, the 50th species for the day, and number 51 was soon found, as the CANADA GEESE were on the lake.

I headed home, pleased with my day total, but after cutting the lawn and doing a few household chores, I went back out to Migrant Alley, to do some skywatching for an hour or so. I hadn't reached my seat, when I heard a Gull calling from above, I looked up and found it - mobbing a COMMON BUZZARD. I took my seat and soon found the days first SPARROWHAWK, making 4 Raptor species for the day, a good total for an inland patch, but it got better when a HOBBY was also seen - 5 raptors for the day! Very impressive! This brought the day list to 54 just one behind the record. I sat and watched for another 20 minutes, and the record was equaled, when a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL flew over, just ten minutes later a new record day list was set - a LAPWING number 56. What a good day!

Somethimg else seen during my skywatch was this fox, taking home dinner for the young 'uns.

Below is another BROAD BODIED CHASER, can't resist getting pics of these
A couple of young Rabbits were resting in some bramble, at the college grounds.
Below is the KESTREL that was hunting over the Greenhouse complex
This goldfinch took off just as i pressed the shutter !
Below is a Male Chaffinch that was singing from a telephone wire
Next is a Pic. of the fledged Great Tit.
Lastly is a bit of a blurred photo, of one of the Blue Tits leaving home for the first time.


Kelly said...

...the fox and the bunnies really caught my eye. Also... the last photo of the Blue Tit is my favorite. It is soft and artistic and really seems to capture the moment of the Blue Tit peeping out and seeing you. It tells a story. (I've caught a cold...I haven't been sick in over 2 years and I don't like it--I won't be doing a lot of birding this weekend. Just a little though...a tiny walk will do me good.) Glad you were able to have such a nice walk.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Amazing Photos !! I Love The First Picture Of Fox !!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Brilliant shot of the Fox .
Broad Bodied Chaser probably a female , no signs of blueing .
Cutting the lawn ? I thought you did that last year ?

richard said...


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren
First of all do you mean 56 species for the day as you have put 66. Apart from that what a day you had great photo's, and 5 different Raptors, nice one. At least you cut your grass.Do you think Greenie is having a dig, coz now he has got to go and do his???

Dean said...

I was hoping for a BBC today, Warren. But not one was found.

Great pics as usual.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Nice pics Warren, still very jealous of the green woodpecker.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Same as Kelly, the fox and the rabbit pictures are so cute!! Love them, maybe I'm a bit tired of birds pictures :-) Yeh remember these are the only animals living on our island except humans, some foxes and reindeers!!! I want some mammals!!! You walked four hours! Wow great and a lot of species again!

Mike H said...

Warren ,Great day and quality pics. How come mine never come out as well as yours?

ShySongbird said...

A very good list there Warren and some lovely photos, the fox photo was very striking. I hope the mosquitoes didn't eat too much of you!

Monika said...

Warren - You've definitely gotten lucky with some fox shots, too!

My favorite is the one of the goldfinch taking flight. Such timing!

Warren Baker said...

ooops! should of read 56 species for the day. Quite right ken.

fishing guy said...

Warren: WOW; simply outstanding nature photography.