Friday, 25 June 2010

Once again it was a sticky, humid afternoon, and it would have been easy just to put my feet up, and sit in the garden sipping a cool drink - but that wouldn't find the birds!

So off to the lakeside scrub I went again, and although I didn't find a large mixed feeding flock, like yesterday, there were lots of small family parties feeding in the tree canopy, mostly BLUE and GREAT TITS, but TREECREEPER and NUTHATCH were also heard, but not seen. There was still a bit of song going on from TURTLE DOVE, BLACKCAP, SONGTHRUSH and BLACKBIRD, as well as the occasional DUNNOCK and CHIFFCHAFF. I could hear the call of BULLFINCH'S, and tried to find some fledged young just to confirm breeding, I couldn't locate any, but i'm sure they have bred.

As yesterday, I then made my way to the run off pool in the Tree Nursery, where I found that the MOORHEN there has 5 young not 3 as i had thought, the MALLARD was also there with her 3 youngsters. Damselflies were back with a vengence, Blue Tailed, Common Blue, and Azure Blue were all seen, and a Broad Bodied Chaser sat still long enough to be photographed.

I was hot and sticky when I left the pool, and instead of going over to Migrant alley, I sat down on an old seat in the Tree Nursery, and skywatched from there. This proved a good move, a small bird seen 50 yards away, was perched up on the top of one of the shrubs, I supposed it to be ''another'' Chaffinch, but I was well pleased when I got my bins on it and found it to be Chat, a Whinchat or stonechat I thought, either would be a right result for my patch. I got within about 30 yards of it, and snapped off a photo, but despite half an hour of trying, I couldn't get any nearer to it. I finally lost it when it flew off, somewhere into the 10 acres of shrubs!

I did however get enough of a view to confirm that it was in fact a STONECHAT (95,68). The confusion was caused by it being a young bird, it was still mostly in it's speckled Juv. plumage. A great patch sighting, and one that inches me towards my 100 species for the year target, just 5 more needed!

The monthly species total also goes up one more, and takes the record from June 2008. The 9 year combined June total gets a boost, to 83 now, as Stonechat has never been recorded in this month before, it is usually seen in Oct ( in 3 years) with one July and one Nov. sighting.

Above and below, Stonechat. A long distant shot that I cropped and zoomed in, so it's not very clear!!

Other photographs I took this afternoon were of this Male Broad Bodied Chaser..........
..............and two of the three Mallard ducklings from the run off pool.


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

If I could play the trupet one handed I'd blow you a fanfare - congrats on a new June record - be harder to beat come next June


Warren Baker said...

Cheers Dave! In answer to your Small Tort. question yesterday, yes they are making a comeback here - big time!

Pete Woodruff said...

Excellent Stonechat record unusual/unexpected was it in your neck of the woods?

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Warren. June is proving to be a better month than you imagined.

Phil said...

Well done with the Stonechat Warren and also the Chaser, I can't make one stay still for a photo no way!

Warren Baker said...

Stonechats are only recorded as a Migrant species on my patch, I get one or two turn up in late Autumn, so this one was a bit unusual, they don't turn up every year though!

ShySongbird said...

What a good job you didn't succumb to the temptation of the 'feet up in the garden' or you wouldn't have had the Stonechat to add to your records, congrats on that.

Lovely little ducklings :)

Monika said...

I just talked to some birders who were in Alaska and saw a rare sighting of a stonechat there. I had never heard of it before, so it's nice to see your photos of it! Great find.