As I left the house this afternoon, I could smell the freshly emerged leaves, that now lay in tatters in the road, ripped from the trees by the cold wind. It was going to be hard to see or hear anything today! I made for the nearest piece of shelter, thinking that's what the wildlife would do, the shelter was the lake area, and scrub, as it lies to the SW of the wet woods. Although it was less windy here, the tree's were still swaying, and the roar of the wind made it near impossible to hear anything but the closest bird song, along with this I could hear a different roar, coming from the terminus of the gas pipeline at migrant alley, it sounded like the roar of motorway traffic on a wet motorway, and was louder even than the wind, god knows what they were up to!!
I did my best around the scrub area, I saw a pair of LONG TAILED TITS busily collecting food for their nestlings, as was a pair of COAL TITS, I could just here a BLACKCAP nearby and a scolding WHITETHROAT and under a large oak several Speckled Wood buterflies were seen. I thought I'd go and look across the lake, maybe a Mandarin Duck had been blown in, but only CANADA GEESE, with their 4 goslings were seen.
After an hour I got quite warm in the sunny shelter of the scrub, and went back out to the tree nursery, finding my first Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly on the way. As I got out into the open fields the full blast of the wind hit me, boy that was a shock! I zipped up my coat and pulled on my hat, just in time to see a HOBBY go over, doing about 70mph I'd say!
I spent 30 mins at Migrant Alley, I dont know why, just habit I guess, the roaring noise was still coming from the gas workers, and 6 bulldozers were piling up the topsoil into huge 20ft mounds, in a line right across the fields. The only birds seen here were LINNETS, JACKDAWS and a couple of flyover HERRING GULLS, they were absolutely relishing the strong wind! One more bird was seen, a KESTREL it was sitting on the leeward side of one of the earth mounds, sheltering from the wind. Tomorrows weather looks just as bad, if not worse, and the rest of the week looks appalling! Lets hope the forcasters are wrong, or there will be no chance of finding those Spotted Flycatchers this week!
I took a few pics, below is a GARDEN WARBLER that sat for a few seconds, one of the only pair on my patch at the moment.
Below is a Long Tailed Tit, with a mouthful of some kind of larvae.
The five canada Geese Goslings have becme four.
Below are a couple of shots of the immature Beautiful Demoiselle
The Speckled Wood Butterfly
Below is a pile of earth, it lies 30 yards from the wooden fence in the foreground, and stretches all the way across my Migrant Alley :-( It isn't quite barren - can you see the Kestrel sheltering from the wind just below the top of the mound. You'll have to enlarge to photo. Look to the right of the fifth post from the left!