Wednesday, 16 March 2011

This morning as I walked into work I heard the song of a CHIFFCHAFF, it was singing from the wooded headland at the north end of Migrant Alley, nice start to the day :-)

However, it was another frustrating patch visit this afternoon, low cloud hung in the sky, and a mist lingered in the air, making for very poor visibility, it was useless for trying to spot small flyover birds, and a cold NE wind made it uncomfortable to attempt to do so! Back in February I thought i'd be watching my first Butterflies by now, but spring seems to have stalled somewhat :-(

There were still some winter species around my patch today, I counted 45 REDWING in the trees around the Small Holding, whilst in the nearby Alpaca enclosure a good flock of Finch's were seen mostly CHAFFINCH, but also a few GREENFINCH. In the Wet Woods a single pair of MALLARD were on the flooded pits, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER called, and GREAT and BLUE TITS did likewise, a TREECREEPER was heard to sing, but that was about it.

Walking the footpath to the lakes, the large wooded garden to the left had a few birds in, notably 6 SISKIN, but more menacingly was the gardener/handyman wandering around with and airgun, I hope he's not just shooting at anything that moves, makes me wince to think of a shot coming from the garden hitting anyone on the footpath, me in particular!

Over on the lakes the pair of COOTS have added a bit more to the nest site, fingers crossed for them :-) Only the usual species were keeping them company, 4 CANADA GEESE 4 MALLARD and 2 MOORHEN.

just a brief stroll into the Scrubby woods was had again, where NUTHATCH were seen, as well as three different pairs of LONG TAILED TIT, a COAL TIT sang, and more song from the likes of BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, WREN, DUNNOCK and MISTLE THRUSH cheered the gloomy afternoon a little.

The Tree Nursery was re-visited by the digger as well as me today, it was having another hack at the drainage ditch, it's now lost all the nesting cover, as well as the grasses and vegetation that held all those Butterflies I was photographing last year. The Pub Field has a new pile of Manure on it, ready for spreading, surely it will bring in the first migrant Wheatear of the spring ? It wasn't there today though, although a big Corvid flock of over 100 birds were! They were mostly JACKDAWS and CARRION CROWS with a few ROOKS.

I paid a visit to Migrant Alley, but stayed only long enough to scan all the fence posts and fence lines in the hope of finding a Wheatear, but it wasn't to be today, eventually I got fed up with the constant nagging cold wind, and made my way home, seeing the KESTREL up hunting by the Greenhouse complex on the way.

No chance of any photo's today, far too gloomy, maybe tomorrow :-)


Alan Pavey said...

It certainly was not a good day for photography, I even struggled with the moth photos!!! Again it's try again tomorrow :-)

ShySongbird said...

Gloomy here again too Warren and not even a suggestion of sun :(

I meant to say yesterday, that is good news about the Coots, I hope all goes well for them, if so your lake may never be Cootless again :)

It sounds like that digger is doing some damage, maybe you could set that chap with the gun on it!

Marc Heath said...

Another gloomy day for all of us it seems. I would like to think the weekend will add a few migrants for us, I certainly expect it to unless the good old weather says otherwise!!

Warren Baker said...

Songbird, the Coots are the highlight of my patch at the moment!

There is a lot of disturbance going on this week, I hope it all fizzles out so I can get down to recording the wildlife again

Derek Faulkner said...

Irritating as it might seem Warren, sometimes things like drainage ditches need cleaning out, its part of the normal countryside cycle, some on Harty have had the same treatment this winter, they soon recover.
Diabolical on Sheppey again today but in a two hour spell around lunch time when we managed half a mile visibility, I got my first Spring visitor on the Swale NNR, a Whimbrel.

Warren Baker said...

I know what you're saying about the ditch's. How long does it take 1 man and a jcb to clear a 100meter ditch ? 2 days at most, this guys been digging around for 10 days!!

The site is coming to an end, the man and machine are just killing time........ and habitat!

Jason K said...

Its always the case with get the first one or two migrants then a lull for a week or so in my experience!

I am also butterfly less this year :-(

Anonymous said...

"Over on the lakes the pair of COOTS have added a bit more to the nest site"

That makes 2 of us with patch breeding firsts. My Grebes are also nest building :-)