Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Well the forecast of warm sunshine came to fruition today, with long sunny spells that warmed up the wind making it caress me rather than cut me in half!

I was off like a greyhound from the traps once I'd finished work, and was rewarded with a sighting of my first Geen Veined White butterfly of the year as I walked home. Another butterfly 'first of the year', was a Holly Blue, seen at the Small Holding, and whilst in the Scrubby Woods was yet another, an Orange Tip, where Comma, Small White and Peacock were also found, all it took was a bit of warm sunshine :-)

Birdwise, most activity was recorded in the Scrubby Wood, no surprise there, as this offers some superb nesting habitat, free from disturbance. The whole place was ringing with CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and WREN song, with calls from GREAT TIT, and NUTHATCH, it was a place of almost utter piece and tranquility, only spoilt by the Gas Cannons in the adjacent fields! Other birds such as BLUE TIT, COAL TIT, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, DUNNOCK, and BLACKBIRD were observed going about there nesting duties, and the SONGTHRUSH which was first seen on it's nest on Monday was still sitting tight, as was the CANADA GOOSE on the island of the main lake.

Predated eggshells from Songthrush, Dunnock and Greenfinch were found on the path, all victims of Crows or small mammals, but thats the high risk strategy taken by nesting early, before the leaves have fully opened, so giving maximum cover. These birds will have another nesting attempt, and will have more chance of surviving when the leaves are out, I find very few predated eggs on the floor in May and June. The high numbers of Dunnock and Greenfinch on my patch are testament to their success, while Songthrushes aren't so numerous, they do appear in good numbers here. I didn't really want to leave the lake and Scrubby Woods area, but having failed to hear or see any new spring arrivals, I finally walked over to Migrant Alley.

I wished I hadn't of bothered! There was yet another work party on the paddocks, I've not know this place so disturbed in the ten years I've watched over it. I did have a walk round, but only Corvids and WOODPIGEONS were seen, so I sat down on my seat and watched the sky for an hour. This wasn't particularly productive though, just two or three MEADOW PIPIT, and a lone SWALLOW were of any note.

The most likely new migrant species to arrive on my patch, will be the Cuckoo, I might see a Sand martin, but they have only been recorded in three of the past 9 springs, the rest of the common migrants have mean arrival dates after the 15th April, but they might just be early this year :-)

Above: Blue Tit

Above: the only butterfly to settle long enough to photo - yet another Comma!

Below : A bit of a blurry TREECREEPER :-)

You Might not want to see the next photo if you are of a sensitive nature as it shows death of a lovely animal :-(

I found this poor badger freshly dead in the lane as I came home this afternoon, killed in broad daylight by some ignorant speeding driver, If they weren't speeding it would have had a chance to get across safely. How do i know the car was speeding, because they all do, even the locals, I walk the lane three or four times a day, and 99% of vehicles are doing 40+, especially the delivery vans and the 4x4's that are taking little johnny to school, these Mummies will be complaining to the council about the horrible smell along the lane next week - TWATS!


Kieron said...

Hi Warren, I don't know how you managed to get a Tree Creeper to stay still long enough to photograph it! They are on a list with Goldcrest as my hard to photograph birds.

Shame about the Badger, they don't have very good road sense I'm afraid.

ShySongbird said...

Thanks for the warning Warren, at least I was prepared! Such a shame, if only people were more careful :(

Lovely photos of the other species though, you are doing well with butterflies, it seems to be a case of 'not sure what it was but it went thataway' for me with butterflies so far this year ;)

I couldn't find a Treecreeper today however hard I looked, well done with yours :)

Pete Woodruff said...

Sorry you was upset by the sight of the dead Badger, made all the worse for knowing how it was killed. I clearly understand how you felt the Trans World Airline Traveler indicated!

Mike said...

Was going well there Warren, lovely pics, as for the badger very sad but you have summed it up really well.

Anonymous said...

So sad to see such a beautiful mammal in that predicament, Warren. Oh, and well done with the flutters.