Sunday, 8 April 2012

This morning was a very dismal, dreary morning, with early drizzle making for poor visibility. I decided not to do a full patch walk, and instead concentrate on the Tree Nursery, Greenhouse Grounds, Migrant Alley and the College Grounds,as this is where I am most likely to find some sort of spring migrant.

3 hours later ( plus 2 further walks round Migrant Alley at 13:00 and 16:00hrs) didn't produce a single spring migrant, very disappointing  :-(  Looking back on this date last year, I was photographing my second Wheatear of the year, and recording my first Whitethroat for the year, which was the 84th species, compared to the 78 seen so far this year. The April list for last year was already on 63 by the 8th, compare that to only 55 this April so far!

So what did I see today ? Well without the species to be found at the lakes and Scrubby Woods, todays species total was on the low side, with 39 being found. The only passage birds seen were a couple of single MEADOW PIPITS heading North over Migrant Alley, two SKYLARKS seen flying from the sheep pasture here were a peak count for this month.

BLACKCAPS and CHIFFCHAFFS, the only summer visitors to have arrived so far, were not as vocal as yesterday, but 4 of each were heard in the College Grounds, where a nice male BULLFINCH showed well, but the camera wasn't with me, given the poor light. The KESTREL was up hunting over the Greenhouse Complex, I didn't find it yesterday, and it was the only raptor seen today, 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS flew over, as did 9 HERRING GULLS, whilst 3 BLACK HEADED GULLS were on one of the paddocks at Migrant Alley. The only other find worthy of mention was a flock of 9 LINNETS, also seen on a paddock.

Will April spring into life this week? Well maybe not tomorrow looking at the dire weather forecast, but things will change  :-)
I tried to get some garden bird photo's this afternoon, but it didn't really get light enough, only this BLACKBIRD was of any clarity.
Garden Blackbird, feasting on the ivy berries, the ivy has fruited extremely well this year
I'll also post this DUNNOCK photo, it was taken on Friday, but I didn't really like the shot, so left it out, I've changed my mind now, cause i'm looking at the blue sky in the background !   :-)
Dunnock, plus blue sky  :-)


ShySongbird said...

They're both nice photos but I do like the Blackbird photo Warren! It's beautiful. I have an ivy like that and the Blackbirds really do love the berries.

I'm missing the blue sky already!

Anonymous said...

I can`t believe how quiet our patches are, Warren, considering the amount of migrants elsewhere around the country.

Tim James said...

Lovely series of shots, Warren. The Blackbird shot is particularly fine. Great work.