Saturday, 31 March 2012

The last day of March, and so the final full patch walk of the month, which was undertaken in cool, gloomy and overcast conditions, it was a pretty standard affair, with 47 species turning out in just over 3 and a half hours. A couple of winter species were hanging on, with both MEADOW PIPIT and FIELDFARE being seen flying NW over the Greenhouse Complex, the latter has a mean 'last seen' date of the 30th of March for the previous ten years, so it may well be the last I see of this species until the Autumn, although they have been recorded in April in four of the years. As for the Meadow Pipit, its mean 'last seen' date is the 13th April, so its probable that I will get it on the April list.

Spring arrivals were what I was out to find today though, but apart from a couple more CHIFFCHAFFS, and the second BLACKCAP, which was singing in the Scrubby Woods, no others were seen, making March a bit disappointing in this respect, the last March without a Swallow was back in 2008, and the last March without a Wheatear was 2007.

Raptors and Gulls were numerous, and seen in the sky throughout the visit, they included BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK, and KESTREL for the former, and HERRING, LESSER BLACK BACKED, and BLACK HEADED for the latter. GREYLAG GOOSE, CANADA GOOSE and STOCK DOVE, were other notable flyovers this morning.

Six Canada Geese were also over at the lakes, along with 4 MALLARD, 2 MOORHEN, and the COOT pair, while the surrounding Scrubby Woods, as well as having the already mentioned Blackcap, also had GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, JAY, and LONG TAILED TIT, no Coal Tit, or Treecreeper were found today though.

So the last day of March mirrored march as a whole really, an average type month, with few highlights, these were represented by the Red Kite (11th) and the MARSH HARRIER (15th) both of which have never been recorded in any March before, these take the combined 11 year March total to 89. The average number of species recorded for the month of March is now 63, so that was exceeded by 2 this March  :-)

I didn't take the camera out this morning , as it was far too gloomy, but a brighter period around midday allowed some of the now dwindling garden visitors to be photographed.
DUNNOCK in full song
Dunnock, post song!


Rohrerbot said...

That first shot is really nice of it in full song. You see inside the beak. We're heading to the zoo's not the animals I'll be looking for but the birds that hang around the water areas that are not caged. There are 3 things that attract interesting birds to our zoo.....people and trashy food(birds have figured out that people eat some interesting things, food that the zoo puts out for them, and artificial ponds and "lakes". We then get an interesting array of critters. I'm hoping to spot several warblers, vireos while hanging with the family:) They just don't know my alterior motives:) Hope you had a good day. Chris

Warren Baker said...

Good luck at the Zoo Chris :-)

ShySongbird said...

My goodness Warren, when I first saw the header photo I thought for a moment you had already got your first Cuckoo!! I suspect it won't be too long. Great photo!

The Starling's colours were showing well even without sun.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
A March Cuckoo! Now that would be nice :-)

Mean arrival date for Cuckoo here is the 14th April - only two weeks :-)

kirstallcreatures said...

Yes lovely Dunnock shots Warren,a much underated bird I think. We have a pair that visit the back garden.

Anonymous said...

Thank god for the Red Kite & Marsh Harrier then, Warren.

Have a good April, mate.

Christian said...

Love the Dunnock in song Warren.