Thursday, 22 April 2010

Photo of the GREAT TIT. Taken in my garden this afternoon, I needed something to brighten the blog, as the butterflies weren't obliging today!


A WILLOW WARBLER was again seen in the college grounds on the way to work this morning, I wonder if it will stay ? Unlikely, they usually move on :-(


Another two WHEATEAR, both handsome males, were seen on the Horse paddocks at Migrant Alley on the walk back home, the 7th and 8th to be seen this month, making it the best April passage of Wheatear recorded for my patch :-)


This afternoon I walked back over to Migrant Alley, intent on doing some serious skywatching, but a walk around the paddocks and sheep pasture was undertaken first, I re-located the Wheatear, but they wouldn't come anywhere near enough to have their photo taken. 5 LINNETS were on the fence lines, at least 4 SWALLOWS were feeding low over the fields, and a YELLOWHAMMER flew over. Apart from those it was down to PIED WAGTAILS, ROOKS and JACKDAWS to keep me amused. A walk through the Scrub at the north end of the paddocks, didn't reveal any turtle Dove, but both BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF sang strongly. Normally this is where I see most of my Butterflies, but there were very few seen today, probably due to the cold wind, but a Peacock, a Small Tortoiseshell, and a Small White were seen.


I made my way back to my horse jump seat, and sat for a two hour skywatch, it took just 10 mins to find my first HOBBY (85, 71) of the year, a superb find! I thought that would be it for the excitement, and I would be back to the normal species, but while later, I spied a black speck in the distant blue, I waited for ages for it to come over, and was then able to Identify it as my first SWIFT (86, 72) of the year, it was still high, and i'll get better views of them later, it's good to have them back! A look at the arrival dates for Swift, confirm this sighting as the earliest in the 9 springs of recording, the average arrival date is the 28th. As for the Hobby, well this is my first April sighting for my patch! Taking the combined total for April to 101. It's not my earliest Hobby however, I did get a very early bird on 29th March back in 2006, and in two years I have had to wait until June for my first sighting, all other the arrival dates are in May, giving an average first date of 7th May.

Those two additions to the year list, also puts the months list on 72, which is the best April tally along with last year, just one more species needed! After the excitement of the new migrants, it all went quiet again, but I did get three more Raptors fly over, 2 KESTRELS, 2 SPARROWHAWKS and a PEREGRINE. I also saw two HOUSE MARTINS over the College Grounds, these could be the local birds that breed on the buildings there, I hope so.

7 comments:

Greenie said...

Warren ,
All the butterflies were at Burnt Gorse today .
Well done with the Hobby and Swift .

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

April Hobby - good bonus and still plenty of time.

Keep it up

Cheers

Davo

Ken Browne. said...

HI Warren.
The Hobby, and Swift were nice finds, it was about time something turned up for you. It has been a bit quiet for you lately, hasn't it.
Good luck with finding that 1 elusive species you are after for the month.

Pete Woodruff said...

Two nice records for today Warren.

The Hobby is a hard one to find in our area but they do oblige on occasions particularly at Leighton Moss so here's hoping 2010 will be a good year for seeing this bird.

The Early Birder said...

Just catching up with you Warren. Good to learn the outstanding warblers turned up recently. I'm still waiting for Hobby & Swift..hopefully not too long.

Dean said...

I reckon you`ll end up with a new April total. Good luck with it Warren.

Phil said...

Well done with Hobby and Swift Warren. Apparently a Swift was found at New Hythe yesterday as well. I'm going looking for one today.