Sunday, 9 May 2010

Three hours were spent on the patch circuit this morning, but as yesterday the weather was cool, cloudy and damp, with a cold breeze, it barely got light until 09:00! At least the drizzle had stopped though!

Very few of the summer migrant species sang, the hardier CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP being the exception, although two TURTLE DOVES did sing for a short time from the small wood at the north end of Migrant Alley. The CUCKOO gave just 3 Cuck - oo calls from the lakeside scrub at 09:40 and that was all I heard of it for the morning, usually at this time of year I would expect to be seeing 2-3 birds flying constantly across my patch calling all the while.

Highlights for the visit were seeing a HOBBY fly low over the College Stables, no doubt looking to catch a SWALLOW unaware, but they saw it coming and 3 of them chased the intruder off. The other highlight for me was finding my first KINGFISHER (61) of the month on one of the small ponds in the College grounds, the first recorded since March 14th. This brings the May total up that of May 2005, which is the lowest May total for the 9 years of recording, its always nice to get to the lowest total with two thirds of the month still to go :-)

Other than that it was very much the same as yesterday, but at least today I reached the 48 species mark, with the help of SWIFT, SPARROWHAWK and YELLOWHAMMER that weren't seen then.

One more thing to note, on the breeding side of things, a GOLDCREST was seen carrying food to a nest site in the Greenhouse Complex grounds, its good to confirm breeding of this species on my patch.


The first 3 photographs below were taken a little later today from my garden:

The WOODPIGEON above, and the JACKDAW below,

The photo below was going to be of a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, however a male CHAFFINCH flew in front of it and stole the show!


This group of mixed age HERRING GULLS were on the College Sports pitch at 08:00 this morning - you can see how gloomy it was!





10 comments:

Jann said...

Interesting how similar the heads at least of the pidgeon and jackdaw are...both striking fellows. I wish I knew the songs of birds like you do! I heard so many yesterday at a distant patch of a park I visited, but haven't a clue what most are. I hope you're feeling a bit better today.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
You must have sent your drizzle over to me .
Well done with the Kingfisher , don't think I've had one locally this year .

Phil said...

I read somewhere recently Warren that up to 80% of Kingfishers succumbed to the elements in some areas last winter, lets hope they recover quickly. Maybe you'll have a male and female on your patch to help the process.

Steve said...

Not seen a Kingfisher for months. I got out again this evening and managed a patch tick - made up for this mornings visit.....

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Well done with the Kingfisher, a good find, also it is good to hear that the Goldcrest's are breeding on your patch.

Monika said...

Definitely nice to pass the lowest May count just 9 days in! Was there something odd about 2005, weather-wise or anything, that made for such a low count? Your expected target is in the 70s right?

Dean said...

January was the last time i saw a Kingfisher. The severe cold spell of then, must have pushed them towards the coast and they`ve forgot to return.

Kerry said...

You are so lucky to see the Kingfisher: they are such delightful birds. There used to be a couple of pairs breeding on the river where I previously lived and it always made my day to see them.

ShySongbird said...

Love the head shots.

I've been looking for a Kingfisher in every likely place but no luck and feelings of frustration not helped recently, at one lake, when a man stopped me and said 'have you seen the Kingfisher, it usually fishes over there'. I hung around for ages and went back several times but...zilch :(

Great news about the Goldcrests on your patch.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: Your garden spot gives you great photo opts.