Thursday, 15 April 2010

It was very much the same on my patch this morning, just 41 species were recorded in a 4 hour visit, and again it was disappointing not to hear much bird song, not surprising really given the cold wind and the grey conditions.

Late on in the morning CHIFFCHAFFS and BLACKCAPS found their voices as the sun came and went, but the cold wind got stronger if anything, especially out on the open fields of Migrant Alley. It was here that that the more noteworthy species were seen: A couple of YELLOWHAMMERS, a flyover MEADOW PIPIT, 4 local SWALLOWS, and the long staying pair of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS that chase every other gull away!

By 11:00 I had decided to go home and have a break, and wait for the cloud to break up a bit more, which it did, and by 12:30 I was back over at Migrant Alley on my skywatching seat. I was almost immediatley treated to the sight two KESTRELS hunting over the Greenhouse Complex, and a little later a PEREGRINE flew over low and fast, two other Raptors showed up during my 2 hour vigil, a COMMON BUZZARD and at least 3 different SPARROWHAWKS. The only other addition to the day list was a pair of STOCK DOVES.

I decided to go and check out the recently ploughed pub field, but it remains disappointing, a dozen or so PIED WAGTAILS, 35 ROOKS, 28 JACKDAWS, 13 WOODPIGEON and 4 more Stock Doves were all that was on offer, a huge field of turned soil and not a wheatear in sight!

Before I headed off home for a cuppa, I decided to check out the paddocks at Migrant alley, for the 3rd time today! However persistance pays, and I discovered a spanking male WHEATEAR sitting on the fence line, they really do prefer these fenced paddocks, the ploughed pub field is only seperated from Migrant Alley by Ashes lane, but the turned soil doesn't attract far.

In the end the daylist finished on a much more satisfactory 47, but still no new spring migrants :-(

Above and Below the Wheatear, at Migrant Alley

Below are my attempts to photograph the Raptors, top is the Peregrine, middle is the Sparrowhawk and last is the Kestrel. The Buzzard was too high to focus on! so I missed that one!

Lastly a photo of a young Rabbit, they are springing up everywhere at the moment - all good Raptor food!!!


Anonymous said...

I must say I always feel sorry for the bunny rabbits but then I guess that is why they breed so fast. Anyway, there are those that prey on the predators but those situations are seldom seen. There is a televiion program on over here -- a series called LIFE -- and one of the photos leading up to it each week is a video showing a huge hawk of some sort with a very large all white bird in its grip, and the white bird is upside down with one wing flopping trying it best to get away. You would think that it flopping would make it impossible to fly but it didn't seem to bother the larger darker colorer bird. I guess that is what we call a "Carry out" meal.

I like your other bird photos. The two. I don't see them here but appreciate their beauty and your dogged determination to find them. Amazing.

Derek Faulkner said...


A nice picture of the young rabbit, wished that they were springing up everywhere on my reserve. Managed a Whimbrel this morning, first of the year for the reserve.

Derek F.

Sharon said...

Love the Wheatear shots Warren, you must be the most patient man I know!
We had a pair of birds in our garden tonight which looked like Meadow Pipits - will try to photograph them to see - I didn't think they came into gardens!?

Phil said...

Well done with 47 species Warren. You'll soon have to change the name of Migrant Alley to Wheatear Alley.

Derek Faulkner said...

Or, you could call it The Warren.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
I had a good look over a field that had been muck spread , ready for plouhing today , and found absolutely nothing .
Hang in there .

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for all the comments folks, I always enjoy reading them, even if some of them get a bit silly - Derek. The Warren - indeed!!

Stewart said...

Warren, thats a Greenland Wheatear that is...nicely timed too...

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for that stewart. I did wonder about it being a Greenland Wheatear. I get two distinct timings of Wheatear passage through Migrant Alley, one in mid march the other in mid April.

Anonymous said...

I think the place you saw the Rabbit, shoud be renamed "The Warren" ;-)

Oh!! just too cheeeeezy