Sunday, 17 April 2011

This morning was the last full patch walk, I'm back to work tomorrow, so it will be back to the shorter afternoon visits, however, I'm off on Thursday, and over the easter holiday, so the hunt for those summer migrants can continue :-)

This morning though, the sky had cleared and the sun shone warmly, it was a 'good to be alive' morning! Once again, as on the previous mornings visits the majority of resident bird species were found, but today I failed to find Long Tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Yellowhammer and surprisingly a Sparrowhawk. That still left me 47 species for the day.

Many of the CHIFFCHAFFS on my patch have moderated their singing now, a sign they have paired up and got down to nest building, the BLACKCAPS however are still at it full throttle, and it was noticeable that some singers are much better than others, one bird I listen too in the Scrubby Woods, had more than a touch of Nightingale about is repertoire!

One song I always look forward to hearing in the summer, is that of the TURTLE DOVE (90,71) , and the one that flew across Migrant Alley this morning may have been one of the few local breeders that are left on my patch, I hope so :-) It's arrival is the joint earliest for my patch, one also arrived in 2003 on this day, heralding a very hot summer, the mean arrival date for this species over the ten years is the 24th April.

Another eagerly awaited summer migrant also turned up this morning, a HOUSE MARTIN (91, 72), a lone bird was seen flying over the Greenhouse Complex as I was sky watching for Raptors, which was successful in that I saw a BUZZARD and a KESTREL. The House martins arrival is just 1 day earlier than the ten year mean, so it arrived bang on time for my patch :-)

Other notables today were; A flyover MEADOW PIPIT, and the CUCKOO, again calling all morning over at the Scrubby Woods. Four LESSER BACK BACKED GULLS were seen on the College Sports pitch early on.

Photo's were hard to come by today, now the leaves are started to burst open, giving more cover to the birds, however, this Chiffchaff came within 3 meters to tell me to clear off, as I was too near it's nest site !

I also found a few Butterflies today, at least 3 of these Small Tortoiseshell were seen, as well as two Peacocks and as many as eight Orange Tips

Below is a photo of the Bluebells in the Wet woods, there are reaching their peak now.


Mike H said...

Super Chifchaff shots Warren.

Bob Bushell said...

They certainly are superb, that's the Chiffchaff. And, you did well with the Turtle Dove.

Marc Heath said...

Nice shots there and 2 more year ticks i am still waiting for. Hopefully off to Grove and Stod tomorrow to find the first Hobby!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Mike,
I got lucky, it came so close!

I'm back to work tomorrow, so it lessens the chance of finding that Whinchat :-)

Monika said...

You're just adding spring birds left and right now Warren! The same thing is starting to happen here - what an enjoyable time of the year.

Kieron said...

What a great week you picked to have off and wasn't today wonderful too? I am off for 11 days from Thursday, I hope that I can get some of the same weather (And luck).

Can't pretend I fancy another summer like 2003 though.

Jason K said...

I bet you were really pleased picking up Turtle Dove...thats a good early date Warren

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

good chiffy pics Warren - a bird I've not got on 'film' yet - they move to dang quick for me


PS nice on on the Tutle Dove long may they continue to nest on your patch long long gone from up here.

ShySongbird said...

A very informative post Warren and one that could only be written by someone with total dedication to their patch and the birds that inhabit it. The Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing info was fascinating as was the Turtle Dove observation. Can I blame you if I am disappointed by not having a good Summer now? ;) actually though I would rather it wasn't too hot...just warm and sunny will do nicely.

Lovely photos, the ones of the Chiffchaff are beautiful!

Kelly said... nice photos of the Chiffchaff (what a great name!!).

Anonymous said...

Turtle Dove, now all too sadly a mythical bird up these parts.

Great Chiffy shots, Warren.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, The Chiffchaff pics are great, I have a weekend away and suddenly you are 4 in front!! Some nice birds there, I usually struggle to get Turtle Dove before the last week of April and Yellow Wags and Sand Martins are mostly autumn birds for me, so I might have trouble catching you :-)