Tuesday, 20 April 2010

My trip into work this morning provided me with a new species for the month, a Grey Wagtail (70) , it flew up the college stream, and sat over the water on a bare branch, this is only the 3rd sighting Ive had of one this year. I need just 2 more new species to equal the April record now, maybe a Turtle Dove or early Swift?

Walking back home from work this afternoon gave me yet another sighting of WHEATEAR, a pair in fact, feeding in the horse paddocks at Migrant Alley, these are the 5th and 6th to be seen this month, this represents a good passage of these beautiful little migrants - for my patch!

Once home, I refueled with crisps and orange juice, and then set off out to try and get some photo's of the Wheatears, and maybe some Butterflies. The Wheatears were soon located, but they were very wary and didn't allow close approach, so I took a few pics and left them to feed. There was a group of 14 LINNET in the paddocks with them, and 2 YELLOWHAMMERS on the nearby manure heap, the only other bird of note was a flyover MEADOW PIPIT, which almost came down to a leaking horse trough for a drink, but then thought better of it, and half a dozen newly arrived HOUSE MARTIN that wheeled around high overhead.

I walked the wide track that runs between the scrub/wood at the north end of Migrant Alley, this is a good place for Butterflies as it is sheltered from the wind, the most common species seen by far was the Peacock, with around 6 seen, also 4 Comma, 1 Tortoiseshell, 1 Holly Blue, and my first Speckled Wood of the year, and they all eluded my camera!

Birds in the scrub included a pair of CHIFFCHAFF, and a pair of BLACKCAP, BULLLFINCH were heard, but no Turtle Dove as yet, it will be interesting to see if any of the latter return and breed at this site, since the College put footpaths through it.

Above. Female Wheatear. Below both male and female
There was one other unusual species seen at Migrant Alley, seen as soon as I arrived. A pair of MOORHEN! What they are doing here I dont know, there is no wet or even damp habitat here, although I did see one of them standing on a sheep trough!


Phil said...

Ten days to find two new species for April Warren.........my money's on you mate!

Kelly said...

...two more species isn't a lot for you. I hope they come your way! I read your post on Sunday but had to run out before I could comment. 1000 walks is amazing. That you've been able to keep track of all of it is also amazing. I can't even keep track of the birds I see in a month. Way too go...it's so impressive. You've been able to turn a lot of information over to citizen science, and that's neat too.

Steve said...

Nice one Warren. I reckon a flyover Whimbrel and a Swift will see you hit the record.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Well done with the Grey Wagtail sighting. I reckon you will be unlucky not to reach your April total.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I`ve not seen a Grey Wag since January, which is very strange as they`re usually annual breeders on my patch.