Saturday, 20 June 2009

The recent sunny mornings came to an end today, well it is the weekend! It was cool, and cloudy with a keen NW breeze when I left for my walk at 06:00, and the birds wern't really making themselves obvious, GOLDFINCH, GREENFINCH, WOODPIGEON, WREN and PIED WAGTAIL were the first five species on the list, seen immediatly after leaving my house, and as I walked down Ashes lane towards the tree nursery I added JACKDAW, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, SWIFT, SWALLOW and BLUE TIT in quick succession. Once in the tree nursery, the wind felt cold, and bird song was scarce, just a WHITETHROAT, LINNET and BLACKBIRD were heard, 3 STOCK DOVES, a GREEN WOODPECKER, 4 COLLARED DOVES and a MAGPIE flew out of the field with remaining trees, while overhead a HERRING GULL and a KESTREL wee noted, the latter headed off to the Greenhouses and began hunting. A SONG THRUSH flew out of the vegetation around the drainage pool, ROBIN, CHAFFINCH, DUNNOCK and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were also found here.

I followed the hedgerow that leads up to Migrant Alley, and on the sheep pasture I added ROOK and STARLING to the day list, crossing Ashes lane again to go into Migrant Alley, I heard HOUSE SPARROWS calling from one of the large gardens. Migrant Alley was pretty quite, three SKYLARKS took turns to fly up and sing, and I could just hear a YELLOWHAMMER singing from across the otherside of the maize crop. Two young CARRION CROWS sat on a fence post and posed nicely for the camera.The small scrubby wood at the north end of the fields had a TURTLE DOVE singing, brightening the day a little, and I could already hear a BLACKCAP and GREAT TIT making their presence known, over at the college stream.
MOORHEN, HOUSE MARTIN, COAL TIT, PHEASANT, and flyover MALLARD, were all recorded in the college grounds, as well as families of COAL TIT and LONG TAILED TIT, which were joined by a calling CHIFFCHAFF, species number 41, thats a long time to wait to hear a Chiffchaff, but thats how quiet the birds were this morning. Only LESSER WHITETHROAT was added to the list on the walk back to my house for half time refreshments, I watched the young of the sub-station pair being fed.

The second half of my walk around the small holding, wet woods and Lake area, was carried out in similar cool, dull conditions, two MISTLE THRUSHES were seen in the small holding orchard, as well as a pair of BULLFINCH'S and a family of TREECREEPERS, in the wet woods a JAY was new for the list, as was a NUTHATCH that called. The lake and scrub area provided me with the 48th and 49th species, in the form of a GREY HERON and CANADA GOOSE.

I left the lake area, and went into the treeless part of the nursery, and walked along the edge of the wet woods that is the boundary, and at last the sun came out! This was what the butterflies were waiting for. I counted dozens of Meadow Browns, two Comma's, a possible Brown argus or maybe a female Common blue (see pic.) as well as a couple of Painted Ladies, all competing for the flowers on the few clumps blackberry bushes, that were left still intact. As I was photographing the Butterflies a large party of Long Tailed Tits came along the edge of the woods, at least 25 in all, with them were Blue and Great Tits and another treecreeper family.

I made my way over to Migrant Alley once more, in the now warm sunshine, to sit and watch the sky for half an hour, which produced the 50th species of the day - a HOBBY. 50 species is always a good score on my patch, so a productive visit was had despite the cool start.

Below is one of the Long Tailed Tits that passed along the wood edge.
A young Carrion Crow at Migrant alley
Below is either a Brown Argus Butterfly, in which case it would be a patch tick, or more likely it's a female Common blue. It seemed smaller than the last female common blue I saw though.
Below is one of the Comma Butterflies
and next one of the Meadow Browns

Lastly, I thought i'd stick this young rabbit in, it looked so peaceful in the sunlight!


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Oh ye of little faith .
Your ID of Brown Argus is spot on , and , a female . Lack of blueing on the abdomen , and the orange spots not fading towards the top of the front wing are the diagnostic features .
If you blow up that Comma , you will see the abdomen is covered with hairs , showing it is freshly emerged , later the abdomen will be almost bald .
Well done .

Steve said...

Another cracking day Warren. Good list and some excellent pictures.

Warren Baker said...

Cheer's Greenie! i did have an inkling it was a brown argus - 60/40. A first ever for me - anywhere!!

J'ellen said...

First time I looked at this post, I somehow missed the rabbit! Nice shot! I just "shot" a cottontail myself yesterday on the front lawn.

Simon said...

Nice one with the Brown Argus!!

Anonymous said...

Yep, nice Brown Argus, Warren. Must be a day for lifers ;-)

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Congrats on finding your first Brown Argus Butterfly.As you always say, you never know what can turn up on your patch, and you have just prooved that.A good total of bird species, also what a great great number of L/T/Tits.Great photo's.
Have a great weekend Warren.

ShySongbird said...

Congrats on the Brown Argus Warren. You really do have a well stocked 'patch'! Lovely photos.