Thursday, 8 October 2009

This afternoons patch visit was carrried out under a brilliant blue autumnal sky with warm sunshine, totally the opposite to yesterdays dismal affair. I spent 3 hours out around the tree nursery and Migrant Alley, the first noteworthy bird seen was a KESTREL hunting around the Greenhouse Complex, I had seen this bird at 07:10 this morning, so maybe it wasn't too successful earlier.

The tree nursery produced a bit of a surprise, when my first KINGFISHER of the month zoomed past, fast and low, it's not often i see them away from water, but I suppose they have to get from one body of water to the next, I just got very lucky! Also in the nursery were a couple of GREEN WOODPECKERS and the usual ROBINS and DUNNOCKS, not much else as there was a work party there.

Over at Migrant Alley the hedgerows that were removed by the gas pipeline works were being re-planted, but the workmen were only around for half an hour. After they had finished, I walked the full length of the hedge, finding a couple of MEADOW PIPIT, and better still, another STONECHAT or maybe it was the one I saw yesterday morning ? Next stop was the scrub at the north end of Migrant Alley, where a party of LONG TAILED TITS were moving through, they were really vocal, sounding like they were all chatting excitedly about the sunny weather! I watched them go through and looked for anything unusual that might be with them, but just BLUE and GREAT TITS showed.

I turned down to go through the paddocks and fencelines, directly opposite to the hedge walked earlier, and saw a blob on the fence ahead, I got it in my bins and found it to be a Stonechat, was it the same one I'd seen 20mins earlier ? The hedge is only 200 meters away, I sat down and watched the Stonechat feeding, dropping down to catch insects from the long grass, as they do, I also had a clear view of the hedge from where I sat, and kept scanning the fence posts, and yes! There was the original Stonechat, so I had two on my patch - now thats a real rare treat!!

I spent the last hour of my visit skywatching from my favorite seat, whilst there, a party of students walked through migrant alley, right past the Stonechat, this was a bit fortunate really, as the bird flew over the field, and joined the other one, and I managed a distant photo of the two together.

The skywatch didn't produce the anticipated Fieldfares, in fact not much flew over at all, a few more Meadow Pipits, and PIED WAGTAILS, also a very distant Common Buzzard - well of my patch, the only othe raptor species seen were a couple of SPARROWHAWKS.

I was good to be back out again today, a day made even better by the Stonechats.

Above Stonechat one, below, a distant photo of them both

Above and below is a Meadow Pipit, seen in the same hedgerow

lastly the Kestrel hunting over the greenhouses


Chris said...

Hi Warren,
What!! A blue sky ans sunshine!! Grrr!!! And you got our meadow pipit now ;-) These shots are nice and congrats on the king fisher!!!
Here snow and snow again today, but the rain is also here, so we are still not getting any snow on the ground around the town, only in the mountain around!!!

sharon said...

Hi Warren - great photos. How lovely to have 2 Stonechats in your patch! Looking forward to the next instalment!

Anonymous said...

Great shots Warren - a similar day here with very welcome sunshine after days of gloomy drizzle.
I just read up a bit about the Meadow Pipit and yours shows very nicely the long hind claw curling round the wire.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Good to see photos with blue skies again .
Good luck with Oct. total .

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos of the Stonechats and the Meadow Pippit Warren and well done on the month's first Kingfisher.

We went back to Draycote today hoping to see the Lesser Scaup that has been there for the last week or so, sadly no luck but apparently it is still there! I did get what I think is a Rock Pippit (I haven't put it onto the computer yet to get a proper look) but it looks to be out of focus :(

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Well done on the 2 Stonechat's, also it is always nice to see a Kingfisher away from water, as you say it is a rare sight.Not something you see everyday.

Pete Woodruff said...

Great to see you had the Stonechats again today Warren and as you quite rightly call them......little stunners.

Phil and Mandy said...

You got some lovely pics there Warren, we are off to Suffolk and North Cambs on saturday so I will be blogging from our friends where we are staying, keeo your eyes peeled. Phil

Anonymous said...

Ctacking Mipit photos, Warren.

There was nothing moving overhead up here, either.

Jann said...

You're right, the pipit looks a lot like our meadowlark. Nice photos again today!