Saturday, 15 May 2010

They're back!! ..............Spotted flycatcher that is :-)

Well the final spring migrant that uses my patch to breed arrived today, the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER ( 92, 64). It was found where last years only pair bred, in the College Grounds, calling like mad, as they always do on first arriving. The year list is now 8 short of my taget of 100, and with no more expected migrants to arrive, 8 species will take some finding, i'll probably have to wait until the Autumn to pick up anything - maybe a Sedge or Reed Warbler if i'm lucky.

This was the highlight of a 4 hour walk this morning, undertaken for once, in calm, sunny conditions. The sunny weather tempted song from most of the other spring migrants - WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, CUCKOO, and TURTLE DOVE, but Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat went unrecorded, as did another spring migrant the Swift, I thought this would have been a certainity on todays list after all the recent sightings. SWALLOW, HOBBY and HOUSE MARTIN made up the rest of the regular spring arrivals, the latter visiting last years nest on one of the college campus buildings, the only pair left on my patch.

A surprise passage migrant was seen at Migrant Alley, in the shape of yet another WHEATEAR, and a flyover GREY HERON (65) added another species to the May list, which now is equal to the May average, but still 7 species behind last Mays tally.

An Excellent total of 50 species was recorded this morning, which included NUTHATCH and COAL TIT, these havn't been unseen on recent visits, a SPARROWHAWK was the second raptor species seen today, hunting over the Tree Nursery, and a SKYLARK was singing over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, maybe this species is breeding here, they will have to fledge their young before the field is cut though - could be a close call :-(

Above and Below is a Common Whitethroat, singing from the tall hedge behind my skywatching seat at Migrant alley

Behind the hedge was this dashing male PHEASANT

This Swallow was taking a rest on the telephone cables along Ashes lane

Below is a photograph of the Lakside scrub area, where 90% of the spring migrants to be found on my patch make their home - no wonder, it is a wonderful ''proper'' piece of habitat, untainted by the ''tidy'' brigade.


Monika said...

Nice variety of photos today! Maybe this is a dumb question, but where are the spots that give the spotted flycatcher its name?

Derek Faulkner said...


The Lakeside scrub area looks superb, lets hope it stays that way, but it must also look really tempting to someone with a chainsaw fixation.
I spent part of the morning on the Swale NNR being followed around in the air by one of those hang glider things with a really noisy motor and two people sitting underneath it. It put up most of the birds on the marsh and the occupants totaly ignored my signals.

Warren Baker said...

interesting question, A more accomplished photographer would have the skill to have picked out the subtle 'spots' and 'streaks' on the flycatchers breast. Maybe i'll get another photo op. to show later in the year.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Wouldn't like that scrub to get too dense - where's my brushcutter? Only joshing Warren it looks good for nightgales, Gareden warbs etc.
Off to hammer those moths in a mo.


PS are the malts keeping the man-flu at bay? You sure its not birch pollen getting up yer snozzer?

Jann said...

Always nice to see pheasants and swallows in my book...have seen the barn swallows but they're so difficult to get snaps of, and pheasants are outside of our hills area. Anyway, congrats on the nice 50 count.

Kerry said...

Glad to hear the Flycatcher is back. My patch seems barren of birds in comparison to yours. Lovely shot of the Whitethroat.

ShySongbird said...

Oh those gorgeous Whitethroat photos, especially the first one!! I've been looking everywhere for one as all the bloggers seem to be seeing them except me :( :(

Glad your Spotted Flycatcher has arrived and great you got a photo of it.

Swallows on wires are a sore point here! I saw one posing beautifully the other day, 'stop the car' I shouted, 'there's nowhere to stop' was the reply...I was not happy...!

Anonymous said...

Glad the Spot Fly arrived for you, Warren.
65 for the month now. I`m struggling big time, even with the resident stuff.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
So Spotty arrived at last .
Thought you couldn't get close to the Common Whitethroats !

Chris said...

Well done Warren on the flycatcher!!! Your month list is reaching my year list number, pretty amazing!!!