Saturday, 22 May 2010

With the forecast for the warm and sunny weather to continue, I was up and out early, however, once again the weather gods had played a trick on me, overnight it had turned cloudy and cool, with spits of rain on the wind !!

Just look at the pic. below it was 'orrible. It stayed like that until around 11 o'clock, when the sun finally came out - by then my walk had finished.

Oh well, I did a full patch walk anyway, and managed to winkle out 46 species, but it was hard going. Much of the canopy is now on the tree's, so it's down to finding most of the birds by ear, and in the grotty weather they weren't singing very much!

After the initial rush of 18 species in the first 10 mins, things slowed down, and species were picked up in just ones and two's. Of the summer Migrants, most were found, TURTLE DOVE, CUCKOO, WHITETHROAT, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, which is still calling for a mate over in the College Grounds, but there was no sign of Lesser Whitethroat or Garden Warbler.

Of the resident species, WRENS, DUNNOCKS, ROBINS, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, BLACKBIRD and SONGTHRUSH were the main songsters, with only one each of COAL TIT and GOLDCREST.

I did have a highlight for the morning when 6 MUTE SWANS (69) flew over in 'v' formation, that was a cheering sight, and brings the months total up to the second best May count, now 3 behind last Mays record.

As I said, as soon as I got home the sun broke through, and I sat out in the garden to warm up a bit, finding 4 more Large Red Damselflies on one of my ponds ( below)
Also took a few pics of the birds on my feeders, below is a nice Male HOUSE SPARROW

.........and below is a GOLDFINCH, they are still coming in to feed in small groups.

Around 3 o' clock this afternoon I had a walk over to my skywatching seat at Migrant Alley to look for raptors, I managed two in my hour visit, a SPARROWHAWK and a KESTREL, the latter was not seen earlier in the day. So I ended up with a daylist of 47, not very good for a May day, and it could of been 50, if such normally easy birds like the Pheasant and Jay had been seen!

Above a SWALLOW and Below a ROOK, found in much sunnier conditions this afternoon.


Derek Faulkner said...


Same weather here on Sheppey. I was on the reserve at 6.30 and wasted my time trying to see things and getting wet in the drizzle. Best thing I had was 70 Blackwits and a Greenshank. Beware a weather forecaster on Friday night that forecasts a BBQ weekend.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
As with here, the weather never bucked it's ideas up until late morning, it never really started warming up until around mid-day.
Isn't it a bugger when the birds you can normally relyon let you down, still 45+ species isn't really a bad tally for those hours.You did actually see and hear some good species in the count. You will probably top the 50 tomorrow Warren.
Nice garden photo's.

Pete Woodruff said...

We had the best/hottest day so far this summer, but in your 'horrible' weather this morning the determination I always note in you shone through Warren.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
You have the bad weather, we have the ash ;-) I've been out recently and I cannot find this nice evening light. I'm sure it is because of the ash from the volcano!!!
Still managed to get a redknot and a Arctic skua (70 and 71)... Hope you will get sun soon!

Anonymous said...

BBQ weather up here Warren. Not that we had one though. Same again today.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Luckily it was wall to wall sun from 9 o'clock here .
Ditto on the Large Red .

Kerry said...

Cracking shot of the Large Red Damselfly.