A shower started just as I got home from work, and I waited for it to pass, so I was a little later getting out this afternoon. It did give me a bit of fortune though because I was watching the garden feeders during the rain shower and noticed a recently fledged ROBIN, this is the 8th bird species so far this year I have recorded as successful breeding on my patch.
The rain shower passed, and the sun came out for all of 20 mins or so, but it was still cool in the wind, most un-May like, as was the frost I encountered on the way to work this morning, it was like february!
I could hear the chainsaws over at the large garden beside the lakes, so it was pointless visiting that part of my patch, so I set off round the Tree Nursery, Pub Field and Migrant Alley. I was hoping to see some butterflies in the Nursery, but none were found, it was good to see a couple of COMMON WHITETHROATS there, though they are not common at all on my patch, also a few BLACKBIRDS, ROBINS, DUNNOCKS the odd WREN and a SONGTHRUSH were in and around the shrubs and sapplings.
I crossed Marchants field, which had just loads of Sheep in, plus a MAGPIE, the grass and vegetation is disappearing rapidly now, I should think the sheep will have to be moved soon. The run off pool just before entering the Pub Field was checked, just to see how the MOORHEN family were doing, all three young are still thriving. The seeded Pub Field was as dry as a bone, despite the earlier shower, and it took a lot of scanning to confirm that all that was out there was a lone PIED WAGTAIL!
The boundary hedgerow was checked as I made my way to Migrant Alley, just a BLUE and GREAT TIT were seen. Migrant Alley itself was migrant less today, the only one it might provide at this time of year would be a Whinchat, or a late Wheatear, but only two spring records of the former migrant have been recorded over the previous 8 springs. 56 STARLINGS were out on the paddocks, 18 LINNETS were in a loose flock along the footpath, and the usual ROOK, JACKDAW and CARRION CROWS were all collecting food for their young out in the sheep pasture. A KESTREL was seen hunting over the College Grounds, and a TURTLE DOVE was 'purring' from the very top of one of the power pylons that cross Migrant Alley.
During a 30 min skywatch, the only notable occurrance was the passing of a group of 70-100 swifts, they were quite high up and looked like a swarm of gnats!
I still await the last regular Migrant visitor to my patch - the Spotted Flycatcher. I have been looking every morning as I walk in to work through the Colege Grounds - which is where the only pair bred last year, and again I check the likely areas on the way home. Last year the first one was seen on the 14th, with the mean arrival date being the 8th, but they are a species that is becoming more scarce every year, and it might be the case that this year they wont return to breed.
Didn't get any photo's on this afternoons walk, but I took some time to get these few snaps from my garden when I got home, not really light enough though.
Above GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, below the parent of the fledged Robin seen earlier