Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Above: The first Celandine flower of the year

Much of the sunshine had gone for this afternoons patch stroll, and a gusty west wind was blowing, what sun there was, brought out the first of the Celandine flowers growing along the footpath that crosses the Small Holding. There were quite a few GREAT TITS and CHAFFINCH'S here today as well, they were associating with the Alpaca enclosure, where the wind blows all the seed from the hornbeam tree onto the ground. Two GREEN WOODECKERS were on the lawn of the nearby large house.

As yesterday, the Wet woods was all quiet, just the odd BLUE TIT, more calling Great Tits, and a few more CHAFFINCH foraging for seeds in the leaf litter. It remained relatively birdless along the footpath that leads to the lakes, but once I neared the scrubby woods and lakes area, SISKINS could be heard, along with ROBIN, WREN, DUNNOCK, more Tits, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH and GOLDCREST. The gas cannons have started up again, so I wasn't very confident about finding much on the lake, and so it proved, but at least the two COOT remain, as well as 4 CANADA GEESE and just 2 MALLARDS.

In the scrubby woods, BLACKBIRDS were foraging on the woodland floor, along with at least 3 REDWING, a COAL TIT sang, and 4 LONG TAILED TITS were present, they had another Goldcrest tagging along with them, however the Treecreepers and Nuthatch have gone quiet for the time being. Around 3 o'clock the sun went in, and stayed in, making the air feel chilly, which soon had the birds going into quiet mode. Time to move on and check the Pub Field, and Tree Nursery.

Once there, I dithered about whether to have a look around the Tree Nursery, even though the digger was still 'tidying' the ditch, or check out the muck spread Pub Field, I plummeted for the latter, but scanning that field I saw that the field hadn't been finished, and the muck that was down from yesterday had only attracted JACKDAWS, ROOKS and WOODPIGEONS to it, although it was good to see 8 STOCK DOVES on it as well, a good number for my patch.

I then reverted back to the tree Nursery, where I thought I might just find my first Grey Wagtail of the month skulking along the newly cleansed ditch, I didn't, but something much better was seen, a STONECHAT (75, 57) it flew right across in front of me, alighting on an old stem some 30m away, what a great bird to find !! A real rarity on my patch, with just 2 records for last year, one of those was also here in the Tree Nursery. How fortunate I didn't go the route of the Pub Field after all, but that's patch watching for you, being in the right place at the right time :-)

Here's the Stonechat, a year tick, I know it's a rubbish photo, but the bird was very wary of me, and didn't allow any sort of approach, so rather than chase it around, I just took this distant photo, I'm sure you can make it out - Just!



16 comments:

Monika said...

Flowers!! All right, spring is really just around the corner now! :)

Alan Pavey said...

Excellent stuff Warren, the Stonechat is a always a real treat if it turns up :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Nice two with the Celandine and the Stonechat .
It's getting closer !

Derek Faulkner said...

Warren,
I have Celandine in flower in the garden
Don't get too excited, you'll not be surprised to know that rain is forecast for the weekend - but its gonna be nice again on Monday.

ShySongbird said...

Well done with the Stonechat Warren! We don't get them in this area so I have never seen one :)

The Celandine is a lovely, welcome sight too.

Is it just me or have you noticed a huge amount of Chaffinches lately? I'm starting to think they actually liked the Winter weather!!

No sun to speak of here today :(

Derek Faulkner said...

Jan,

Don't forget that we import a lot of Chaffinches from the Continent during the winter and this has the effect of swelling their numbers, In early winter many thousands can be seen passing along the South Coast, sometimes daily. I think that they have a very under-rated song and love to hear them.

Warren Baker said...

Songbird,
In a way they did like our winter weather! As Derek has already said, alot of these birds have come from colder places than Britain, and are now on there way back. Chaffinch numbers have tripled on my patch this week.

ShySongbird said...

Thanks Derek and Warren, that hadn't occurred to me but of course it makes perfect sense :)

Bob Bushell said...

That is the first flower that I've seen, thanks Warren.

Marc Heath said...

Just like my Crane shots, they sometimes just don't matter. Just nice to get the bird on your patch. A few migrants on the pager today, hopefully the weekend will turn up somthing.

Stewart said...

Nice Chat Warren. My local breeders may have succumbed to the cold. We used to have 4 or 5 pairs in about 3 miles of coast, but I havent seen one this year...

Ipin said...

Nice one with the Stonechat Warren, I think two consecutive very cold winters have done for them around here :-((

Dean said...

Nice one with the Stonechat, Warren.
Regards your last paragraph, it`s a pity some of the twitchers/photographers don`t have the same sentiments.

Jason K said...

Great record of Stonechat. They seem to have been really hit by recent cold winters. I didnt record any on autumn passage last year :-(

Craig said...

Nice one on the Stonechat Warren, i'm expecting my first of the spring any day now!

Greater Kent Birder said...

Warren,

The stonechats around Kingsdon and Sandwich have taken a beating - there are none.
It was last winter than really did for them. Prior to that you would normally see half a dozen in a walk up to the point from the SBBO. Now there are none.
Last summer was little better though a few passed through during the autumn.
As for this year I think there have been 2 sightings only but these birds haven't hung around.