Saturday, 16 April 2011

This morning started off cloudy again for my 4 hour patch visit, but by 11:00hrs the sun had punched through, and some sunny spells were had.

The visit was much the same as the past 3 mornings, but unusual in the fact that once again every resident bird species was encountered, plus a few passage birds as well, making for another impressive species total for the day, of 52.

Summer migrants were represented today not only by the now established SWALLOWS, CHIFFCHAFFS, and BLACKCAPS, but also a CUCKOO, which called persistently for most of the morning from the Scrubby Woods, a traditional breeding place for them. A passage WHEATEAR was, as always, an exciting find, one was in the Tree Nursery, the fifth April record so far, all involving single birds. One passage summer migrant that I have failed to see so far this spring, also turned up today, when 3 SAND MARTINS (89,70) flew NW over the Greenhouse Complex, a good find, as this is only the fourth spring out of ten that this species has been recorded, and gives me a boost in my attempt to find 100 species by May 17th, which is the earliest time that 100 species has been reached.

The Sand martins were seen whilst I was scanning the sky at Migrant alley at the end of my patch walk, where I also saw 3 BUZZARDS up soaring, with at least two more further away off my patch, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were also up hunting, and 3 Gull species were seen, HERRING, LESSER BLACK BACKED and BLACK HEADED, the latter being only the second one seen this month.

Photo's today come from my garden feeders, I had noticed the male BULLFINCH coming in, but despite a patient wait, it didn't return whilst I had the camera, so this GREENFINCH was snapped instead.
A few Butterfly species were also recorded today, Orange Tip, Small White, and this Speckled Wood, below.


Marc Heath said...

Nice one with the Sand Martins. I take it for granted that they will be everywhere but obviously not. Nice to see the butterflies out and about.

Phil said...

Good list total of 52 Warren. Like Marc I just assume everybody gets plenty of Sand Martins, but obviously they don't.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Marc, Phil,
Sand Martins are a scarce passage bird here in the spring, small numbers zip through occasionally. hey are more easily found in the Autumn though

ShySongbird said...

I wonder which of your little birds will find some very large eggs in their nests this time ;) I believe the poor Dunnock is often favoured!

Well done with the Sand Martins Warren :)

Derek Faulkner said...

Ditto Warren re. Sand Martins, they are a scarce passage bird here on Sheppey and we are still awaiting the first Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Cuckoos

Warren Baker said...

Dunnocks are indeed number 1 choice :-)

Jason K said...

Nice one on the Sand Martins. Nice speckle wood too...I havent had one yet this year at my patch

Bob Bushell said...

Nice pictures Warren.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear you got Sand Martins at last, Warren.
Fill your boots today mate, i`m off patch for most of it.