Sunday, 13 March 2011

A repeat performance of yesterdays 6 hour patch visit was had this morning, the weather had reverted back to the heavy cloud and gloom, but a very good total of 51 bird species was recorded once again.

Despite the dull and gloomy conditions, birds were heard singing or calling as soon as I left the house, and as I walked the 200m along Ashes lane towards the Tree Nursery, 20 species were recorded in quick succession, they were :

After that little lot, the only new species picked up at the Tree Nursery and Pub Field were, a MOORHEN, which was on the run off pool at the end of the Pub Field, BLACK HEADED GULL, of which 2 flew over, a SONGTHRUSH that sang from a large garden and a pair of LONG TAILED TITS in the hedgerow.

Migrant Alley was quiet, just a flyover MALLARD was put on the list, but as I entered the College Grounds things livened up a bit with GOLDCREST, GOLDFINCH, MISTLE THRUSH, GREEN WOODPECKER, JAY and flyover GREY HERON all seen, but bird of the day, without doubt was the newly arrived CHIFFCHAFF (76,60). Its simple but cheerful song announced its arrival, a slightly early one, at 3 days ahead of the mean arrival date for this species, very welcome it is too :-) Crossing the sports pitch on the way back, I heard a wall of sound, and looking into the trees I found at least 30 REDWING, whilst at the same time 3 GREYLAG GEESE flew over.

Walking back across Migrant Alley, the north end this time, a couple of BULLFINCH were heard in the headland woods, and song was heard from a YELLOWHAMMER, the first one to sing this year, also singing up above me was a SKYLARK. The row of trees forming the northern patch boundary had at least 35 FIELDFARE in it, and a flyover PIED WAGTAIL completed the list for the first half of my walk.

Next up was the Small Holding , Wet Woods, and Lake area, where just 7 more species were added to the list, those being SPARROWHAWK, SISKIN, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, COOT, and a new species for the month, a LITTLE OWL (61) this was in the Small holding.

As yesterday, I headed over to Migrant Alley for a skywatch, before the mayhem of all the traffic from the Lambing weekend arrived, in the hour I was there, I recorded LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, HERRING GULL, ROOK, KESTREL and a pair of CANADA GEESE, presumably ones that weren't on the lakes today!

The 51 species seen today, included 5 not seen yesterday, so the weekend total of 56 species is not a bad result, considering it's taken 13 days to get to 61 species :-) The months list is now looking a bit healthier, 61 species puts it in joint 5th place out of ten.

Later in the afternoon, I went to see if I could locate and photograph some Waxwings that were just a stones throw from my patch. Although I found them easy enough, the light was dire, I don't think it could of got any darker without it being nigh time :-) I counted 38 Waxwings and took lots of photo's, of which just two record shots were salvageable !

Waxwings - the first to grace my camera :-)


Monika said...

Great reports, as always, Warren. Chiffchaff! Now you just need some sun to go with that cheery song.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Monika,
The sun will come eventually :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Can sympathise with your Waxwing shots . Just as well it was on digital .
They shouldn't be allowed in unless the sun is shining .

Jason K said...

Hi Warren, I had my first Chiffchaff this afternoon on my patch...theres nothing quite like your first Chiffy of the year to herald in spring.

I just need a passage Stonechat now

Warren Baker said...

the waxwings are rare enough, only letting them in on sunny days would make them the rarest things ever :-)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Jase,
I'm sure your regular visits will turn up a stonechat this spring :-)

ShySongbird said...

Waxwings!...Sigh :(

Well done though...she says through gritted teeth ;)

Excellent news on the Chiffchaff!

We had beautiful sunshine all afternoon :)

Warren Baker said...

I'd have swapped you half of those waxwings for some of that sunshine !

Chris said...

See you finally managed to get the waxwings... I hope you will still see them, and this time in a nice sunny day. There are still some around here but I did not get the courage to get pictures of them. I only went to see redpolls yesterday and saw a common goldeneye. I had not seen one for year, as it is quite rare over here.

Marc Heath said...

A good total for today and nice one with the Chiffchaff. It was not a good day for photography was it? I'm hopeful that during the week there will be some arrivals for us.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, glad you got Chiffchaff, always nice to get the first one :-)

Kelly said...

...great job on photographing the waxwings even if you were missing the sun. What a winter for waxwings!

Anonymous said...

Two more for the month then, Warren. Good to see you took advantage to icrease your list, with me having a day off.

Andy said...

Hi Warren

Still following your blog avidly. I'm now in a position where I can visit my patch 4-5 times a week so it's great to compare lists bearing in mind we are 3-4 miles apart. Like you, the 1st Chiffchaff today and also Waxwings. Did you come over to EP to see them. I had 26 in my garden when I got home from my walk this morning!!!! A great day.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Andy.
I saw the waxwings just down from shipham, right on the estate there :-)

Good luck on the patch this spring !