Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Above is what greeted me this morning - FOG!

The fog makes it difficult to locate birds at the best of times, but it's worse this time of year as nothing much is singing, but I pushed on anyway. As was to be expected it was well quiet, just the common species being picked up, mainly by calls, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, CHAFFINCH,WREN, BLUE and GREAT TIT all went on the list immediatley as I walked along Ashes lane. A few more ''easy'' species went on the list as I walked through the Tree Nursery, out along the sheep pasture, and along the hedgerow to get to Migrant Alley. WOODPIGEON, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, MAGPIE,, COLARED DOVE, JACKDAW,GREENFINCH all called or were close by, but nothing ''migrant'' wise.

I walked around the sheep pasture, paddocks, and Maize at Migrant Alley, and checked the tall hedge, but the migrant species were not around today, but at least the fog was beginning to lift a bit!

The best of the action was found at the College Grounds and stream, the first KINGFISHER of the month flew up the stream, calling loudly, and in the grounds I found a large feeding flock of birds, around a large oak tree, some 6 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, 2 TREECREEPERS, 4 GOLDCREEST, 4 COAL TIT, lots of Chaffinch, and the usual LONG TAILED TITS, as well as Blue and Great tits, in the background a WILLOW WARBLER sang. I stood under the canopy of the oak and was treated to some real close up views, but the light was so poor, the photo's were rubbish, I carried on watching and listening to the ever louder feeding flock, then suddenly all went quiet, apart from one drawn out high pitched alarm call - silence. I waited, and within seconds a female SPARROWHAWK came tearing through, it chased a few birds about but didn't get breakfast here!

The fog was well on the way to dispersing as I made my way across migrant alley and back home for half time drink, and the sun was already feeling hot at 08:00. I saw three GULL species go over as I walked, LESSER BLACK BACKED, HERRING and BLACK HEADED, and then a HOBBY flashed past - again after the PIED WAGTAILS. There seemed to be a Hobby in the sky somewhere for most of the morning.

The second half of my walk was carried out in hot sunshine and I didn't expect much at the lakeside scrub, but I was pleasantly surprised, BLACKCAPS, BULLFINCH, and WHITETHROAT, were seen, but better than that, a GARDEN WARBLER, maybe two, and a LESSER WHITETHROAT were seen gorging on the Elder and Blackberries.

I had accumalated quite a daylist by now - 51, and as I cut through the wet woods to get into the back end of the tree nursery, I found two more species, a PHEASANT and two MARSH TITS, the latter in another feeding flock, 53 species! A quick ( and it was quick due to the hot sun) skywatch back at migrant alley and COMMON BUZZARD went on the list 54 for the day very impressed with that!

Below is a lovely male Bullfinch, feeding on Elder berries at the Scrub area

A much overlooked bird in my opinion is the WOODPIGEON, it has some nice colouring too.
Below is one of the Hobbies that were seen, or was it the same one ?
Another SPARROWHAWK ! This one below flew into my garden, the first here for months. I was just locking the back to to go out for the second half of my walk, when it alighted on the fence, but I had keys in one hand and a choccy biscuit in the other, by the time I got the camera out, it had flown off!


Greenie said...

Warren ,
That was unbelievably hot today .
You got 54 more species than I did . Mind you , I was surrounded by strimmers and a chainsaw all day .

Tricia said...

Fog? No wonder we never get bored with out weather. Impressive list for this time of the year - glad the sun finally came out - wow it is hot!

Chris said...

Well you were luckier than I was. I went out tonight for an hour and only saw starling and redwing... Everything has left now and the Ulfarsa area that I use to visit was empty, no ducks, no terns, no bird at all!!!
I love your first picture as well as the bullfinch. They are wonderful!

Phil and Mandy said...

A good days birding mate, the Bullfinch is lovely, have only seen 1, at Oxen Hoath with Dave.

swatson said...

The colours of the bullfinch are beautiful.

Kelly said...

I love the photo of the horse in the peaceful! The bullfinch is beautiful...

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for a Hobby, up here, Warren. Think you could spare one.

Jann said...

Love the fog pic! But I really love the bullfinch shot, what a pretty bird. The woodpigeon is like our mourning dove, and I agree, it's overlooked but quite pretty really.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: I like that Bullfinch photo.