Monday, 7 May 2012

No rain for todays full patch walk, in fact there was even a glimpse of sunshine early on, and what a difference that made to the birdlife! It still wasn't particularly warm, but it was a vast improvement on recent mornings.

As soon as I left the house song was heard from BLACKBIRD, WREN, COLLARED DOVE, WHITETHROAT, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, SONGTHRUSH, GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH, with the calls from BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, JACKDAW, MAGPIE, WOODPIGEON, PHEASANT and STARLING, all that lot before getting twenty yards down the lane - that's much more like May  :-)

More Whitethroats and a LESSER WHITETHROAT sang from the Tree Nursery, where a SKYLARK dropped in to feed, the KESTREL was up hunting overhead, and both GREYLAG and CANADA GOOSE flew over over calling noisily. I listened to yet another Whitethroat in the Greenhouse grounds, along with a BLACKCAP, and the first few PIED WAGTAILS flew out of the opening windows of the largest Greenhouse, where I was pleased to see a LITTLE OWL perched on one of the gutters. Migrant Alley chipped in this bird filled day with a passage WHEATEAR, as well as flyovers from SWIFT, HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, GREY HERON and SPARROWHAWK.

All the regulars were seen at the College Grounds, including COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, MISTLE THRUSH, LINNET and GREEN WOODPECKER, with the SWALLOWS perched on telephone lines at the Stables there.

A COMMON BUZZARD got up from one of the large gardens adjacent to the Wet woods as I made my way over to the Scrubby Woods and Lakes, and as I watched it soaring ever higher, I spotted half a dozen HOUSE MARTINS (59) the first this month. Not much was on the Lakes today, just the COOTS with their two young, and a couple of MALLARDS, but the scrubby Woods was alive with song, mostly from Blackcaps, CHIFFCHAFFS, Songthrushes, Wrens, Robins and Chaffinch, but also heard was the GARDEN WARBLER, TREECREEPER, and BULLFINCH. I listened intently for a Turtle Dove, but none have arrived yet it seems, indeed, will they arrive at all this year, they are 6 days later than the latest arrival date on my patch, maybe this area will be just another place that looses this lovely migrant dove  :-(

In all today a magnificent 52 species were recorded during the four hour walk, missing from that list was the Jay, where have they gone ? The nest I found of this species was not occupied today. The Cuckoo didn't call either, most unusual for a May day, plus no sightings of Yellowhammer or Nuthatch, these two species have not been recorded at all this month yet.
In the better light today I was able to get a few photo's ...........
Male Wheatear, superb birds  :-)
Swallow - I managed to chop off his tail streamers!
The longer the streamers on the Swallows tail the more likely he is to attract a mate
Little Owl at the Greenhouse Complex


Alan Pavey said...

You really are racing away mate, nice pics as always :-)

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely Wheatear, Swallow & Little Owl pics

Greenie said...

Warren ,
What a bonus , a dry visit .
Nice Wheatear shots .
Thanks for the raptor ID on mine .

ShySongbird said...

Beautiful photos today Warren!

I read that Turtle Doves are our fastest declining farmland bird with numbers down by 70% since the mid 1990s!!! :-( How depressing is that? Of course it seems it's all down to farming practices.and perhaps illegal hunting in the rest of Europe.

A miserable day here with pouring rain much of the time :-(

Phil said...

Nice Wheatear pics Warren. Still no Turtle Dove seen at NH so far, as far as I know. I'm hoping to change that tomorrow while doing the next Nightingale survey:-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Enjoyed reading the records with some brilliant photographs Warren....CRESTED LARK Dungeness power station compound this afternoon....a 'MEGA WOW'

Rohrerbot said...

These are incredible shots. Apparently the birds were happy to be out for some sun as well!!! An owl and perfect shots of the swallow....excellent work! I have yet to get a swallow seated....they are all over and constantly moving....nice closeups of this beautiful bird!

Anonymous said...

Great set of shots again, Warren.

Christian said...

Didn't know that about the streamers - nice fact Warren. Nice LO image.