Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Yellowhammer, new species for the month.

At last the wind has dropped out, and the heavy grey clouds have cleared to leave a bright blue winter sky. The afternoon patch walk was a much more pleasurable experience for it :-)

Just because the weather's turned nice, it doesn't follow that the birds will suddenly appear, but it does make the birds present much more vocal, ROBINS, SONGTHRUSH'S, BLACKBIRDS, GREAT and BLUE TITS all sang loudly as I passed through the Small Holding, and into the Wet Woods, where once again 2 or 3 pairs of MALLARD were seen on the pools of water, a MOORHEN called somewhere from the mass of tangled dead branches, while overhead a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER called, along with a NUTHATCH.

The footpath leading to the lake area had at least 3 GOLDCREST along it, one of these was singing loudly, two LONG TAILED TITS and a TREECREEPER fed in one of the adjacent wooded gardens, the lawn in the opposite garden had a GREEN WOODPECKER foraging on it.

Two CANADA GEESE, 4 Mallard and two Moorhen were all that the 3 lakes could muster between them, but in the surrounding trees and vegetation, more singing was heard, making for a most springlike afternoon, especially upon hearing the COAL TITS song. The adjacent scrubby wood had a few REDWING turning over the leaf litter, and some hidden BULLFINCH'S calling, perhaps up to 6 were heard, DUNNOCKS and WRENS continued the spring theme with their songs, joining the many Blue Tits in an afternoon tune up. I had the choice of staying here to get some photo's or moving off to try and find some farmland species that were still missing from the February list, I plummeted for the latter.

The Pub Field was checked, and a dozen FIELDFARES were to-ing and fro-ing from the field, to the boundary hedge, along with just 4 Redwing and two MISTLE THRUSH. A pair of KESTRELS flew low over the maize stubbles, just out of camera range, a great sight!

There was time enough for a circuit of the Pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley, where the most abundant birds were the ROOKS, JACKDAWS and WOODPIGEONS, but the new paddock had the find of the day when 11 YELLOWHAMMERS (54) flew up and alighted in a nearby Oak, giving me the only photo of the day, despite all that lovely sunshine!

The last 30 mins were spent skywatching, which produced sightings of both PEREGRINES (55), one of which crossed my patch airspace to join it's mate on the tower. There was no sign of a hoped for Grey Heron or Meadow Pipit, but it was just nice to be able to stand out in some sunshine for once :-)


Marc Heath said...

Nice to see Yellowhammers are doing well in your neck of the woods. Last year they were everywhere at Stodmarsh but i have yet to see one yet although its a matter of time before they start singing.

Warren Baker said...

Only had one pair breeding here last year Marc. Lets hope for better this year :-)

Tony Morris said...

Yellowhammers are great birds, we've got a flock that use the Horse's straw and poo mountain from all the stables in the area.

Paul said...

Hi Warren, nice Yellowhammer there, Ive seen a couple in Mereworth, and one in East Malling, but that was last year, none this year yet.

Mike said...

Yellowhammers are definitely on my hit list for photos this year, just hope i'm as lucky :)

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
11 Yellowhammers is a good sighting for any day out. I really like the yellowhammer photo, especially the the contrast of the blue sky and yellow of the bird.
Good to see your feeling better and back out on your patch.

ShySongbird said...

I was really worried when you still hadn't posted by 7 30 Warren, I seriously thought something was wrong after you weren't feeling too good the last few days, phew!!

Yellowhammers used to be everywhere in the hedgerow alongside the old railway track near us but I never hear or see them there now :(

I managed to snatch an hour or so out in the sunshine this afternoon, it was glorious :)

I see I was spared a Spot the Peregrine Shot today ;)

Anonymous said...

You`re right Warren. The blue sky & lack of wind sure made for a good day.

Alan Pavey said...

I'm glad you were better, and well enough to enjoy one of few bright days so far,Yellowhammers are always nice to add to any list :-)

Chris said...

Excellent sighting Warren. Cool to see a yellowhammer... I've not seen one for years!!!