Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A fantastic surprise awaited me this morning as I walked to work, Migrant Alley came up with another passage bird - a BLACK REDSTART (57) Wow! This is the second one this spring, quite something, considering only two others have been recorded in the previous 8 years of recording!

Back to this afternoon, and I only had limited time, as I had to be back for 16:30, so I took a walk around the Tree Nursery, and pub field, before another check of Migrant alley. It was another cloudy cool day, but the cold wind had dropped out quite a bit. Crossing the Tree Nursery, a patch of blue sky appeared, and for 2 or 3 minutes the sun shone and the temperature shot up ( to all of around 17c :-) ) This caused a sudden increase in insect activity, which I assume was the reason for a flock of 20 or so SWIFTS to come through, hawking all the flies.

A WHITETHROAT was singing from the boundary hedgerow, where it seems to have established a territory, and a couple of pairs of LINNETS were seen perched atop the sapling trees, probably nesting in the vacinity. The Pub Field has been seeded with maize, but not a thing was on the bare earth, maybe in the Autumn when the crop is up, this field may produce something.

Entering the sheep pasture and Paddocks at Migrant Alley, I scanned all the fences and fence posts for the Black Redstart, but as suspected it had long gone, I was also on the lookout for a possible Whinchat, a scarce spring Migrant on my patch, but a possibility none the less, just not today :-). I was left to watch the corvids, WOODPIGEONS, and PIED WAGTAILS feeding on the paddocks, and the SWALLOWS zipping in between them. Up above more SWIFTS went through, and a couple of HOUSE MARTINS were wheeling around, ive not seen much of them in recent visits.

Half an hour was had skywatching from my favoured seat, which proved quite productive, a SKYLARK was singing, two YELLOWHAMMER went over, as did a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, and 4 raptor species went over - SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, COMMON BUZZARD and one of the local PEREGRINES (58) which is an addition to the months list. Not a bad day today!

I didn't have much time for chasing photographs, but this Green Viened White butterfly is the first record of this species this year


ShySongbird said...

Very well done on the Black Redstart, Warren. Another bird I have never seen :(

Derek Faulkner said...


I see the useless Kaddy tonight has forecast this cold weather for the whole of the month, hopefully she'll maintain her dismal record and be wrong as usual.
I've found on Sheppey that whenever maize crops are grown that there is an upsurge in rats, they love a nice bit of corn on the cob in the autumn - something to look forward too.

Kerry said...

I have only seen a Black Redstart once, many years ago. You certainly have a great spot for bird watching.

Lovely capture of the Green-veined White.

Anonymous said...

Another one, Warren. Well done mate.

Phil said...

If you've got to go to work a Black Redstart on the way in is some compensation Warren.

Adam said...

Nice one Warren - seem to be a few Black Redstarts around thsi Spring.