Saturday, 30 April 2011

Only 90 minutes were spent out on my patch today, most of the morning was taken up with the Breeding Bird Survey, undertaken in the farmland adjacent to my patch, then going into Tunbridge Wells to pick up my new camera lens :-)

It was frustrating to see my first swift of the year while out doing the survey, also a Wheatear, but all was put right later in the day when my short trip around Migrant Alley provided me with not one, but two flyover SWIFTS (96,77), also noted were TURTLE DOVE and LESSER WHITETHROAT singing at the wooded Headland at the north end of Migrant Alley. A KESTREL and two BUZZARDS were seen going over.

So the month ends on a high after all, the Swift brought the months species total to 77, the best April yet ! Maybe it could have been higher still if Tawny Owl and Garden warbler had shown up, which certainly should have been possible. The combined April list for the ten years now stands at an amazing 102, it was incremented by just one this year, when that fantastic Ring Ouzel turned up. The mean species total for April is now 70, so I was well ahead of that too this year.

Tomorrow i'll be out early to start the May list, but it wont be as long as Aprils, the best may total is 72, achieved in 2009, and the combined May list comprises of 88 species, but it's a challenge i'll enjoy :-)

Later in the afternoon I tried out the new lens on the garden birds, I got lucky when the BULLFINCH dropped in on cue, it wasn't in the best position, but you have to take these birds when you can, they are extremely wary!

Above and below, male Bullfinch

The new lens is a Sigma, 120 - 400 stabilised lens, it wont make the photo's any better, but it sure means I dont have to get as close to the subjects as I used to! below is a GOLDFINCH on the sunflower hearts

This male BLACKBIRD was taking the fallen hearts to a nearby nest full of young.

Also, whilst out earlier, I found these mating Green Veined White Butterflies

Plus this immature Large Red Damselfly :-)


Phil and Mandy said...

Nice selection of photos again Warren.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Congrats on your record warren, may May continue in the same vein.
At least you know what you're pointing your lens at...many of the clowns we witnessed yesterday with their 800mmms would have said your bully was a yankee robin.

When you gettin that 2x teleconverter?

Fingers crossed for an epic May for you with plenty to wear out that lens on.



Greenie said...

Warren ,
Wish I could get Bullfinch like that .
Good luck with the new lens , I look forward to seeing how it performs .
Well done on the April 77 .

Sharon said...

Congratulations on the 77 total Warren! And the Bullfinch photos are lovely. Hoping May will be just as good for you :)

Jann E. said...

Congrats on the great April count Warren. Love that bullfinch, looks like an exotic bird, so pretty. Enjoy that new lens!

Dean said...

Congratulations from me too, Warren. We start again tomorrow (Pistols at dawn and all that ;-) Good luck with the May list.

Looking forward to seeing more pics.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
Nice to see the new lens is earning it's keep, producing some good shots. I especially like the Grren Veined Butterfly Photo.

Paul said...

Hi Warren, good numbers on your month of April mate, and nice Bullfinch shots too.

steve ashton said...

Nice Bullfinch Warren

Mike H said...

Some nice shots with the new lens,Warren,especially like the Bullfinch wish they would turn up in my garden!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photo of the Bullfinch Warren! It must have dropped in especially for the new lens :)

Very well done on the April total!