Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I've managed to throw off the worse effects of this cold virus, and was back to work today, on the walk in, it was interesting to see 40-50 Gulls on the College sports pitch, most of them were BLACK HEADED GULLS, but with them were at least 7 HERRING GULLS, as well as 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and 3 COMMON GULLS.

This afternoon after work, I visited the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, it was unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 70's F, so i was anticipating some Butterflies, I did find the odd one, but not as many as conditions would have suggested, just 2 Comma's, 2 Small Whites, and a possible Small Tortoiseshell, but the latter two species didn't stop around!

As for the birds, well, it was nice to see the BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, and LONG TAILED TITS, as well as the CHIFFCHAFFS, which are arriving on mass now, but I was hoping to hear a Blackcap, alas, that will have to wait another week or so yet, their mean arrival date on my patch is the 30th March, so the one I heard last Saturday morning was early for my patch, in fact it was the second earliest for the eleven years of recording.

On the lakes today there were 8 CANADA GEESE, plus the feral BARNACLE GOOSE with it's Canada Goose mate, as wells as four MALLARD, one female is still sitting tight on a nest. Four MOORHENS were also seen and the COOT pair are still around  :-)

I then made my way over to Migrant Alley, which proved Migrant-less, its been a poor start this year for early spring Migrants, will I get one to add to the March list ? This month in previous years have had Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Swallow and Stonechat all turn up over the years, all I got today was a passage MEADOW PIPIT heading North  :-)

The sky was clear and blue, not good for picking up any arriving Swallows, but I did get lots of raptor activity, with 4 BUZZARDS, 2 SPARROWHAWKS and a KESTREL all giving great views as they displayed and/or hunted..................same again tomorrow, hopefully with a migrant for the list  :-)
I took a smaller lens out this afternoon, so as to get closer to the Butterflies, it was too warm for them to be basking opened winged, but I got some nice shots of this Comma.
You can see the white ''Comma'' mark quite well on this shot
The drawback of a smaller lens is not getting such a close up of the birds, but this Wren was quite distant anyway
Above is one of the Bluebell flowers that are now peppering the green carpet of the Wet woods, another two weeks and it will be a carpet of Blue  ;-)


ShySongbird said...

Glad you're feeling better than you were and enjoying the beautiful weather Warren :-) It seems really odd to have these temperatures but trees with no leaves!

Lovely photos again. I still haven't seen a Comma this year yet but there were lots of Peacocks and Small Ts about.

There are Bluebells here at that stage, it does seem early.

I wish the Wrens here would pose like yours do :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Must admit I expecting more in the way of butterflies today , but we must remember , it is still March .

Jason K said...

Still not hhad a patch Comma yet this year Warren. Had lots of Small Torts though ;-)

Warren Baker said...

I was thinking the same thing as you today!! It is strange that it is so warm with no leaves out on the trees :-) I was looking for some shade at the time LoL

Marianne said...

Glad you're shaking off the manflu, Warren. Nice photos - Bluebells already?!

kirstallcreatures said...

Nice shots of the Comma Warren, I like the contrast with the thorny branches.

I sometimes use a little bit of flash to bring out the markings on the underwing.


Rohrerbot said...

Sounds like a nice walking day with a camera present but not really engaged:) Whenever I put the short lense on, I've found that it means...if a picture happens, it happens. When the longer lense goes on, it's for a hot pursuit:) Soooo....after your pots of the "chase" the other day, I found out that crows or ravens chased off the father Great Horned Owl and may have killed him. We had several people witness the event. Meanwhile the mother hangs tight over the two owlets in the nest. Nature is brutal sometimes.

Rohrerbot said...

Oh one other thing that I was thinking while I was reading your you think that the warmer temps in some parts of the world have affected the migration patterns of some birds? Some have been staying longer in areas while others now call the area home.

Anonymous said...

Warren, we might get some hoped for migrants, when it clouds over for the weekend.

Marc Heath said...

Do you get Brimstone your way? A butterfly i have never photographed. Might try today after work if i get a chance and can find a good area for them.

Warren Baker said...

I do record Brimstones on the odd occassion, but like you, I have never had the opportunity to photograph one !

Warren Baker said...

In my opinion, it is without doubt that the warmer climatic conditions, have changed the behaviour of not only bird life, but insects as well.

Wren said...

Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. Your photos are lovely.