Sunday, 10 October 2010

Well the sun did come out today, and a real pleasure it was to be out, especially as it was such a good day birdwise.....again!!

At first light I visited the Tree Nursery, where I took a photo of the sunrise,

then just as I was about to set of into the shrubs, a pair of MUTE SWAN (66) flew over, another scarce bird for my patch, and a good addition to the October list.

As I set off into the shrubs and young trees, birds started flying out straight away, there had obviously been a 'fall' of SONGTHRUSH'S, BLACKBIRDS, ROBINS and to my surprise and delight a WHINCHAT (67) !! This is easily the latest record of this species to date, the previous latest date was 28th Sept back in 2008.
There were so many birds coming out of the shrubs, that I was like a kid in a sweet shop, first pointing my camera, then my bins, then trying to note things down, I'm sure I missed a few things ! In the end I reluctantly carried on with my walk, finding a singing CHIFFCHAFF in the hedgerow at the Pub Field as I went.
I entered Migrant Alley, and again saw many Blackbirds and Songthrushes flying over, and one group of 5 Blackbirds had what looked like the Ring Ouzel in with them, but views were brief and I could have been mistaken. One thing I didn't mistake was seeing my first REDWING (68) of the Autumn sitting up in a mature Oak in one of the large gardens nearby, I have now equalled the highest October species count :-) Looking at my records for the arrival date of Redwing, shows them to be here one day later than the mean arrival date.
I spent ages looking around Migrant Alley and the boundary hedgerow with the greenhouses, as there were a lot of birds about, notables include: a WHEATEAR on one of the paddocks, a flyover LAPWING, 3 flyover SWALLOWS, 4 flyover MISTLE THRUSH, two BULLFINCH and a YELLOWHAMMER were in the boundary hedge, with best of all a REED BUNTING (69), only the 4th one recorded this year, and takes the October list to a new record !
I had spent so much time in the Tree Nursery and Migrant alley, that it was pointless visiting the College Grounds, as it would be full of people at this time of day. So I moved on to the Lakes and Scrub area via the Wet Woods and small holding. I found virtually all that could be expected of the woodland species, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, MARSH TIT, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, and both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were the pick of the birds, but another big surprise was waiting on the main lake today, 3 POCHARD (105, 70) a Year tick, and another enhancement to the now bulging October list! This is only the 3 record of Pochard for my patch, what an exciting find! Any regular followers of my blog know that ANY duck is exciting on my patch ( bar Mallard)

Above: Pochard !
Another afternoon visit was had today, mainly for some skywatching, and this proved successful with, COMMON BUZZARD, KESTREL, and SPARROWHAWK seen, as well as 6 more flyover Lapwing, and yes, yet another October tick, with a flyover COMMON GULL (71) !!!

Above: Yellowhammer, Below: Reed Bunting

Below: a Cock PHEASANT

Below Common Buzzard

Below is the Wheatear

Below: the Whinchat, you can just make it out :-) it was still almost dark :-)

Lastly, Here's a fungi I found interesting, it is covered in spines. Whats it called anyone ?


Mike said...

Strange I was only saying to my wife that I hadn't even heard a yellowhammer in ages. Nice pics Mike.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
What a cracking few days you've had . All going to make next year even more difficult . Good luck .
From here , I would say your spiney fungi is Lycoperdon perlatum .

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Greenie: I was afraid it would have a latin name :-(

Kingsdowner said...

It's a puffball.
It was indeed a lovely sunrise, and what's more it stayed out and gave a good sunset too.
Good list today! First Redwings at Sandwich Bay too.

Warren Baker said...

Ah! A Puffball, thats a name I can remember! Cheers Steve :-)

Wilma said...

You had a banner day today! That Lycoperdon is also called devil's snuffbox, because when it cracks open the mature brown spores inside look like snuff.

Pete Woodruff said...

Excellent record of the Whinchat Warren....I'm even excited myself from 300+ miles away in the frozen (not yet) North. And up before sunrise thats what I call keen.

Jason K said...

Blimey Warren you have had a good day today...long may days like this continue!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Phew - what a day - well done Warren - you swalllowed yer field guide? AND you still got whinchats!!!!
AND STILL three weeks of the month to go must be one or two more to come at least...


Kelly said...

...look at you with a new record for October already! Glad you were able to be "like a kid in a sweet shop." Sounds like great birding.

Dean said...

The not knowing which way to look syndrome. I never get that, Warren.

Well done on the new October tally. I knew it was on the cards and as Dave says, there`s still 3 weeks to go.

Chris said...

From where are you getting all these birds ;-) A winchat!!! A common gull! and a mute swan!! Sir, come one ;-) I'll send you some whooper swan ;-)
I've been out this week end cause we got an extremely beautiful week end, 17°C and no wind and sunshine!! It's very strange, much more warmer than it should be and as a consequence, none of the birds have left!!

ShySongbird said...

Another cracking day, Warren! Many congrats on the great total so far.

I love to see swans in flight, so very elegant, mind you I wouldn't mind swapping a couple of the many Mutes round here for one of Chris's Whoopers :)

Nice to see the Yellowhammer, I haven't seen many this year, their numbers have definitely declined round here :(

Jann E. said...

Congrats on the pochard! That's a nice shot of the yellowhammer, too. Sounds like your Oct list is going good :o) Do you know what's up with Disabled Birder of Halling? When I try to visit his Blog it says it does not exist.

kirstallcreatures said...

A good day out, lovely pics of the Yellowhammer and Reed Buting Warren, Linda

Monika said...

Great stuff Warren - I was excited just reading along! :) Congrats on smashing the October record....I wonder what the rest of the month will bring?