Saturday, 19 March 2011

Above: Early morning at the Small Holding. Below: Blackthorn blossom.

Today I carried out a full patch visit in conditions that were totally opposite to yesterday, a lovely crisp, frosty and clear morning, which developed into a warm sunny day, about time too!!

Above: Sunlight streaming into the College Gardens.
I spent 6 hours roaming my patch today, but despite the great weather I didn't find a single new species to add to the March list, I felt sure a new migrant would turn up today, oh well, I still recorded some cracking birds.
CHIFFCHAFFS were singing, one in the Headland, at the north end of Migrant alley, and another in the Scrubby Wood adjacent to the lakes, where 6 CANADA GEESE, 2 MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN and the pair of COOT were seen. The Scrubby Wood wasn't as busy as I thought it would be, but TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, and GOLDCREST all sang, joining in with the regular Tits and Finch's, plus WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, BLACKBIRD and SONGTHRUSH. There were also a few winter species about, 4 REDWING were foraging on the floor, under the brambles, and 2 SISKIN were seen in an Alder tree, but they were very much scarcer around the place than of late.
Another winter species, the LESSER REDPOLL, was also seen, two of these smart little finch's were seen in a Silver Birch over at the Greenhouse Copse, where I also found one of the pair of LITTLE OWLS that lives there, it was sunning itself in the midst of a tree.
I spent alot of the time around Migrant Alley, hoping for a Wheatear to drop in, but it wasn't to be today, however, I watched flyovers by GREY HERON, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, GREYLAG GOOSE, SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD, KESTREL, and FIELDAFARE. A MEADOW PIPIT dropped into the Tall Hedge briefly, and a few skylarks were up and singing in the dark blue sky.
In all, 50 species were recorded today, the last of those was the LONG TAILED TIT, seen as I walked home along Ashes Lane around Midday. There were some notable omissions from the list today though, namely Mistle Thrush, Yellowhammer, and Marsh Tit, the latter I am expecting to leave my patch anyday now, but the other two are usually seen.

This Carrion Crow was out feeding on the frosty Sheep pasture early on.
Below is one of the Lesser Redpoll seen in the Greenhouse Copse

Lastly this BULLFINCH was feeding on buds from an apple tree, which grows on the bank of the main lake.


Derek Faulkner said...

Lucky you Warren, on the Swale NNR I had thick mist for the whole time that I was out there, a whole wasted week!

Warren Baker said...

so I see, just visited your blog this minute!

ShySongbird said...

Goodness Warren, when I saw the first photo I thought for a moment you had had snow again!!

Lovely blue sky behind the Blackthorn but don't forget we may have a 'Blackthorn Winter' now it is in flower.

It was a beautiful day to be out and about today :)

Nice to see the Lesser Redpoll and the Bullfinch.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
I suppose we're not out of the woods yet, but we are mighty close to it :-)

I'd hoped to find a butterfly or two today, but none were forthcoming :-(

ShySongbird said...

Same here, I was sure I would see a butterfly but no luck yet. Husband saw Brimstones at lunchtime again, think I should have gone with him and the dog. He said they weren't hanging about though so I doubt I would have got a photo.

Marc Heath said...

That frost looks cold! Most of my visit was full of mist, hopefully tomorrow. One of these days I will get it right.

Adam said...

Top photos - very atmospheric.


Pete Woodruff said...

Some nice pics on a nice day Warren....the migrants are coming!

Anonymous said...

By eck!! that`s some frost, Warren. Back to cloud again up here.