Friday, 8 May 2009

The morning rain cleared, to leave a cool blustery afternoon, but with some good sunny spells. I gave the lake and scrub area a miss, in favour of the tree nursery, Migrant Alley and the College grounds, the latter is the only place where I get the Spotted Flycatcher breeding.

In the blustery conditions, not a great deal was to be seen or heard as I walked round the nursery, some of the rabbit fencing was being replaced by more robust fencing, so there was some disturbance. GREEN WOODPECKER, LINNET and an overhead SKYLARK were about it. At migrant alley, huge mounds of earth have been thrown up by the earth movers, maybe it could prove attractive to some passing migrant, once the machines have gone quiet. A quick scan round the seedling maize crop, which is just showing the first green shoots, only provided me with another Skylark, more Linnets, teasing me by sitting on fences in the distance pretending to be a scarce migrant, and the usual corvids, with a flock of around 30 STARLINGS.

As I crossed the stable yard to enter the college grounds, SWALLOWS were on the overhead wires, I hope they are allowed to breed unmolested in the stables this year. Lots of common resident birds were in the grounds, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH and MISTLE THRUSH were all after the same quarry, for their nestlings, on the manicured lawns. A BLACKCAP managed to be heard over the wind, as did a CHIFFCHAFF but my main target species - the flycatcher was not to be seen, maybe this weekend they will turn up.

The last hour was spent back over on my seat, at migrant alley. I saw nothing at all in the sky to get me excited, a KESTREL did go over low, and a few SWIFTS were about, but I must confess after half an hour I dozed off!

I came to, and was going to call it a day, but I always have to have one last scan! This was a most fortunate move, for while I was napping, two migrant WHEATEAR had sneaked in, and onto the seedling maize! A great species to have in May on my patch, how fitting that this should bring up the 60th species for the month. I believe these are the latest Wheatear I have had during spring migration, i'll have to check - hang i'm wrong, the latest were in 2007. on the 20 May. I must be getting old, not only do I fall asleep while skywatching, but my memory is going too. Any tips Greenie!

Below is the Kestrel that went over Migrant Alley

Above is one of the Wheatear, and below is the best I could do to get both birds in the frame. They were a long way off. In the background you can see the large mounds of earth, thrown up by the gas - pipeline works.


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Another quietish day for your standard, still 2 Wheatear's isn't bad, mind you, may be it would have been more if you hadn't nodded off. All I can say is, what a hectic life you must lead if you have trouble staying awake, or perhaps it is one of the side effects of your pills!

Ken Browne. said...

I meant to say, Warren, you seem to be doing well with your total of species seen. Well done.

Warren Baker said...

I start work at 07:30, and I'm on the patch at 06.00 most mornings. Earlier at the weekend! I can't hack it like I used to! More pills are needed!!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
I look forward to getting to your age , where nobody takes any notice of a short nap .
There again , if the old grey matter doesn't function properly either ?
Eucayptus - or was it something else begining with E ?

Ken Browne. said...

Ok Warren you are forgiven. I just hope I have got your energy when I get to your age. I expect you say the same to Greenie.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Well done with the weathers!! Here there are coming like crazy. We headed a little bit north of Reykjavik this week-end to try to see some new species (well it is a family week end, but I keep my eyes both on the sky and on the pond). We are in an area where both great northern diver and sea-eagle are spotted very often, but for the moment the snow storm is keeping in the small wood-house we rent. hope this is gonna be better tomorrow!

Steve said...

Stop hogging the Wheatear Warren! You can imagine how much sleep I don't get with my brood.