Sunday, 20 March 2011

Not quite the wall to wall sunshine of yesterday, but some sunny spells were enjoyed on my 5 hour full patch walk this morning. The day never really took off birdwise, perhaps I am a bit too eager to find that newly arrived migrant !

The 45 species recorded this morning, was a little lower than could be expected for late march, and the numbers of birds about was well down on yesterday, with very little song heard, so what's going on there then ?

Two more new CHIFFCHAFFS had arrived over night, one in the College Grounds, and another that had joined the bird found yesterday in the Scrubby Wood, bringing the total to 4, counting the one in the headland wood at Migrant Alley, these were at least all singing !

The COOTS are settling in well on the ornamental lake, the male showing lots of aggression, defending his territory as 6 MALLARD dropped in from high. Only two CANADA GEESE were on the remaining two lakes, the other two pairs were seen out in the fields, at Migrant Alley.

Winter species were very thin on the ground, they involved a single flyover SISKIN, and 2 REDWING at the College Grounds. A YELLOWHAMMER was one of two species seen today that were not seen yesterday, it was calling from the hedgerow between the Pub Field and the Tree Nursery, the other species was one of the PEREGRINES from the Tower, it was seen whilst I was at my sky watching seat, where I spent an hour, but didn't see much more than HERRING, BLACK HEADED and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, although another MEADOW PIPIT was heard going over, and a female SPARROWHAWK circled high up over the sheep pasture.

Hopefully, during the next 7 to 10 days, a few more Migrant Species will be added to the year list, although it is relatively early for them still, March has in the past produced early Wheatear, Swallow, Sand Martin, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, and even a Hobby! So i'll just have to keep watching and listening :-)

Photo's today come from my garden feeders

My garden favourite, GOLDFINCH

Plus a Siskin, I wonder if it was the one I heard going over earlier this morning?


Derek Faulkner said...

I said it first - re. opening line of blog.

It did seem quiet today, I tried to find an early Coot's nest but couldn't, there's normally one or two by now. Ducks must be nesting though because I'm starting to find broken eggs on the paths, as a result of crow theft. I can feel a Wheatear in my bones for this week.

Warren Baker said...


Migrants in general are scarce at the moment, I know it's early still, but there are usually widespread sightings, involving small numbers by now.

Do you reckon they are Having to fly around the shrapnel in Libya :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

I'm not that fussed, The Swale NNR always tends to be a week or two later than the mainland side of The Swale for some strange reason.

ShySongbird said...

I just read on another blog that Sand Martins were around today in the Milton Keynes area.

Goldfinches are my garden favourite too, so colourful :)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
Goldfinch's, I love 'em! as you can tell by the number of times they appear on my blog :-)

As for the Migrants, well, Ive just looked at last years March Blog, and nothing much arrived until the last 10 days of March, I must be more patient :-)

Anthony Miners said...

Sharp Goldfinch images just got some visiting my garden myself for the first time,they are most welcome but got my first Sparrowhawk also visiting!

Marc Heath said...

I think we are to eager, well i am!
There does not seem to have been a good arrival as of yet. Even Portland is relatively quiet. Next Weekend Warren!!!!

Pete Woodruff said...

You're at least two Chiffchaff up on me Warren despite 'nothing happening' migrant-wise.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
Not a bad mornings walk, 45 species is pretty good, also I like the Siskin shot on your feeder.
It is a waiting game now, to see what arrives, and when. Hopefully it won't be too long before they start turning up on all our local patches.

Monika said...

I'm equally over-eager to start seeing migrants here! Usually by mid-March there are more of them, at least in small numbers. I found my first turkey vulture today, so maybe the tides are changing. Keep looking! (I know you will :) )

Anonymous said...

There`s been Sand Marts & LRP`s across the road from me at the Old Moor, but they`ve bypassed my patch, Warren. Good luck for the week ahead.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, it is still reasonably early but when the weather is like it was over the weekend you can't help but get your hopes up :-) Nice pics again too.

Mary said...

Very nice images. I found your blog by way of a very kind man...Bob Bushell's wonderful blog~