Sunday, 4 October 2009

It was a much better day today, yesterdays wind had died away, and the sun shone. I headed off out at 07:00hrs, along Ashes lane, across the tree nursery and on to Migrant Alley.

Things were pretty quiet at first, the normal species of ROBIN, PIED WAGTAIL, JACKDAW, DUNNOCK, WREN, CARRION CROW and WOOD PIGEON all were noted straight off. A passage of HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS went over, going west, and a flight of 9 SKYLARKS followed them at a lower altitude, more went over in ones and two's during the morning. The biggest passage of birds though was seen over Migrant Alley, I saw a minimum of 150 HOUSE MARTINS go south, in various group sizes, sometimes a few would come down low to feed over the tree's.

A COMMON GULL went over, a good Gull species for my patch, and MEADOW PIPITS made themselves obvious with there ''seep seep'' call. The LINNET flock was still on the college sports pitch, at least 100 strong, and a CHIFFCHAFF was seen in a silver birch tree at the pitch's edge.As I walked back across Migrant Alley, more House martins went over, this time I saw two SWALLOWS with them. This could be the last I see of these two summer migrants, the mean last sighting date is the 8th Oct for swallow, and 7 Oct. for House martin.

I started the second half of my patch walk without a single new species to add to the October list, but that changed rapidly, the next four species to be seen were all new ! A MARSH TIT in the small holding, along with a PHEASANT, a NUTHATCH in the wet woods, and probably the best one, a TAWNY OWL that was in one of the well wooded gardens that straddle the footpath leading from the wet woods to the lake area. It was brought to my attention by a group of noisey birds mobbing it, including JAYS and MISTLE THRUSHES. Tawny owls are seldom recorded on my patch, when they are, it is normally just the call that shows they are present, to see one is quite an event, this is the first ive seen since 2007.

I walked on to the lake, but fisherman had again beaten me there, so anything of interest would have been flushed up, it's hard enough trying to find anything on the lake at the best of times, and these recent fishing activities only make it harder. I checked out the scrub area, and found a nice male BULLFINCH, and as I watched it I thought I heard a high pitch call from above, I scannned the sky and I was right - my first REDWING of the season flew over. The mean arival date for Redwing is the 9th of Oct. So it was early, in fact it was the joint earliest ever recorded, along with one seen on this day in 2003. As I walked back along the footpath to the wet woods, I heard a Tawny Owl hoot from the scrub area - twice, I checked the one in the tree i'd seen earlier, and found it still there - so there are two on my patch, excellent!!

Todays five new species for the month brings the Oct. tally to 52. Still 16 more needed to equal last octobers record.

Above is a photo of the sky this morning, i thought it looked quite attractive.
Below is a female BLACKBIRD

Below - if you look really carefully is the Tawny Owl! You might want to click on the pic and enlarge it!

I recorded 2 species of butterfly today, this Small Copper, and a Clouded Yellow that didn't stop for a photo.

In the scrub area i came across this fox. I sneaked up as near as I dared and got a photo of it, as soon as the shutter made a noise it was off like a bullet!!


sharon said...

Congrats on the Tawny Owl - I've never seen one but then I don't think we get them in Ireland!

Anonymous said...

Well done on spotting the Tawny, Warren, and for adding another 5 species to this months list.
Nice pics, too.

EP Andy said...

Hi Warren

Tawny Owl during the day, and seeing it. Good one.
We too had a good southerly passage of House Martins over here as well. Makes you wonder how wide the passage was?

Oxonhoath Birds said...

Nice spot with the Tawny Warren.

swatson said...

love you photos of the butterfly just beautiful.marvellous shot of the owl wow.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Well done on all these new species. I'm also happy you are getting some of the redwings, we have tons of them around. I guess they are just gathering to mograte towards you soon! I'll try for the merlin, this guy is teasing me like hell flying around me but never landing close to the camera.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Warren - Please forward some of your daylight fox luck, I'm getting plenty of sightings in the pitch black! An owl would be nice on Patch 1 too. Octobers record - I can see it falling before 20th...good luck, go for it!



ShySongbird said...

Well done with the Tawny Owl and the Redwing Warren. Lovely photo of the Blackbird.

I haven't seen any butterflies for a week now and it has turned very chilly tonight!

Jann said...

Aw, what an awesome photo day! Love the fox and butterfly photos! Nice female bb shot too. I saw two owls this yr., got photos of one, my first, very exciting to see them. Well done.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: Thae fishing season proably won't last long as it gets colder. Loved your photos today, that was a neat butterfly and fox photo.