Thursday, 29 March 2012

The run of unseasonably warm weather continued today, making for a very pleasant afternoon patch visit. It was more notable for Butterflies than birds though, and three new species were seen for the first time this year, first off was an Orange Tip, a lovely male specimen drifted along Ashes Lane as I walked towards the Tree Nursery, it was here that I found both Holly Blue and Small Tortoiseshell. All three of these species have emerged earlier than last year, the Orange Tip by 4 days and both the Holly Blue and Small Tortoiseshell by 6days.
First Small Tortoiseshell of the year, in not bad condition
Birds seen in the Tree Nursery were few, GREEN WOODPECKER being one of the few, but more noteworthy were the two MEADOW PIPITS that flew up and away NW, overhead, a SPARROWHAWK was circling high.

I spent over an hour at Migrant Alley, walking the pasture, paddocks and fence lines, looking for that elusive spring Wheatear, or maybe a flyover Swallow but both evaded me again. A few of the regular species kept me amused though as I wandered the nearby Greenhouse Grounds and the adjacent copse, LONG TAILED TITS, BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH and LINNET were all showing breeding intent, either singing on territory of actually nest building, a couple of PHEASANTS scared the life out of me as I tried sneaking up on the Long Tailed Tits for a photograph, exploding from just a foot in front of me, as they invariably do.
Blue Tit
A COMMON BUZZARD flew reasonable low over, giving me the chance of a photo, but with a smaller lens on again today, I couldn't quite get the detail on it, one of the ROOK flock also came unusually close, and got it's photo taken too  :-)
Common Buzzard
Common Buzzard
Rook, I couldn't quite see what it was feeding on, these birds must be having a hard time at the moment, with the weather so dry, the ground isn't giving up invertebrates easily
The regularly seen KESTREL was up hunting, and one of the LITTLE OWLS called from deep inside the Greenhouse Copse, that was pretty much it for the afternoon session, although i did take yet another WREN photo before heading home :-)
Another Wren!


Jason K said...

Small Tort!!! I bet there was a sigh of relief after seeing that one Warren

Warren Baker said...

Hi Jase,
Thought I saw one yesterday, but today will do! :-)

Marianne said...

Nice one, send some of those butterflies my way, please...! Can't be long before Migrant Alley starts giving up some migrants :)

Warren Baker said...

I'm sure the flutters will be with you very soon :-)

I just hope a Migrant turns up equally as quickly here!

Marc Heath said...

Nice Tortoiseshell shot, still have not seen one this year so far. I challenge you to get a male Orangetip shot Warren, they never stay still for me.

Rohrerbot said...

They're coming:) I look forward to seeing some new visitors. I'm sure they'll be in your area soon. I love the color of your butterfly. These varieties seem to be the first to be seen followed by the yellows and black of the swallowtails.

Anonymous said...

Nowt wrong with those Buzzard shots, Warren.

ShySongbird said...

Glad you got your Small Tortoiseshell Warren :-)

I took very similar Buzzard photos yesterday, don't they look wonderful against the blue sky!

Those Wrens do like posing for you, I wish they would for me ;-)