Saturday, 9 April 2011

The fine weather goes on! Although it was just a bit chilly as the sun came up, it soon turned warm and sunny.

In a four hour full patch walk from 06:30, 47 species were recorded, about average for an April day, but it was quite hard going early on, maybe due to the cooler morning than of late. Mostly, it was the regular singers that were heard as I walked over to the College Grounds, via the Tree Nursery, Pub Field and Migrant Alley, but joining the WRENS, DUNNOCKS, BLACKBIRDS, SONGTHUSH, LINNETS, GOLDCREST and the many Finch's and Tits, were the two early arriving summer migrants BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF. At least 4 SWALLOWS are now on patch, they will try to breed in the college stables, but no new summer migrant species were recorded.

It was the 36th species in the book that caused a small cheer, when the first BLACK HEADED GULL (64) of the month flew over the college sports pitch. Whilst returning through Migrant Alley, I watched a GREYLAG GOOSE fly over, and then a CORMORANT, but checking the fence lines for a second time I was pleased to find another WHEATEAR.

It warmed up considerably during the walk over to the Lake and Scrubby Wood area, where I was ecstatic to find 3 SHOVELER DUCK (85,65) on the main lake, 2 males and a female, a great species to find on my patch, and just the second record of this species in ten years! The COOTS were also present, with 6 CANADA GEESE and two each of MOORHEN and MALLARD.

I finished off the woodland species that were needed for the day list, BULLFINCH, TREECREEPER, and JAY, then set off for some butterfly action, finding, Holly Blue, Peacock, Comma, Orange Tip and small Tortoiseshell, but still didn't manage that Orange Tip photo, well I did but it had its wings closed!

This afternoon, a quick sky scan for raptors came up with BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL
Above: Dunnock. Above: Male Shoveler, below Male with Female, most exciting !
Below is the Wheatear, I took this long distant photo, then the bird immediately flew off northwards!

Below is yet another Comma, at least they sit still open-winged!

Not like this Orange Tip, a male, but as i said, it wouldn't open up wings!


ShySongbird said...

Wow, Shovelers on your patch!! Well done Warren, great stuff :)

Lovely photo of the Dunnock looking glad to be alive on another beautiful day and who could disagree.

You saw more species of butterfly today than I did...BUT...I managed several open winged Orange Tips! :)

Derek Faulkner said...

Nice one on your Shovelers, they are ten a penny here on The Swale but would gladly swap some for a few of your woodland species.
I had Orange Tips flying across the marsh earlier today but like you've said, they don't like keeping still for photographs. Also had Peacocks, Small Tort. Small White.
A glorious afternoon, spent skywatching and sun bathing from a sun bed on the patio.

Anthony Miners said...

Shovelers looking good, great selection of shots showing wide variety of wildlife in your patch.

Marc Heath said...

You sometimes forget what rarities some birds are on other patches. Well done with the Shovelers.

Warren Baker said...

I'll get one eventually :-)

I just wish the lakes were in better condition

Warren Baker said...

There are lots of ''rarities'' ive yet to see, i'm pleased with the breeding Coots !

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

2nd record of Shovelers in 10 years! - top dollar Warren.

Glorious glad to be alive sort of a day up here too



JRandSue said...

Great list for April,love the shovelers,always great to see.

Phil said...

Well done with the Shovelers Warren. They've just about gone from New Hythe now. Plenty of BH Gulls though:-)

Chris said...

Wow well done on the shoveler... This is a species that I rarely see around here but time to time it happens! I hope to see them this year, but we will see.... You already got quite a good number of species for the year. Congrats on that!

Anonymous said...

I agree, well done with the Shovelers, mate.

Make the most of the butterflies today, as the temps are about to drop from Monday. Well, they are up here.

Jason K said...

Nice One on getting Shoveller Warren...a good tick.

I actually like the Orange Tip photo..I think the demarcation on the underwing is amazing.

Ive not managed a decent flutter shot this spring from shenstone..they are all a bit too flighty at the mo

Simon said...

Well done with the Shovelers mate!!! It was a beautiful day wasn't it, nice photos!