Saturday, 28 July 2012

The weather was pretty dismal this morning, being cool and damp with dark low cloud giving rain at times, however, that cleared by 11:30hrs and it turned out warm and sunny for the afternoon.

The four hour full patch walk, produced 46 species, a good half dozen less than recent visits, the bird activity was much less as well, especially at the College Grounds, where most of yesterdays families had moved on or hidden up, apart from the SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, two young were seen being fed by both parents. There were no Greylag Geese on the paddocks at Migrant Alley, but as I passed, a MALLARD came in from the north, calling as it came, eventually alighting on a paddock, must be the one that hangs around with the Geese, but she's lost them all today! She wasn't totally alone though, as I counted 66 SWALLOWS on the fence line, mostly young ones, and two SKYLARKS dropped in to the sheep pasture in the next field.

Two KESTRELS were hunting around the Greenhouse Grounds, and a SPARROWHAWK over the Tree Nursery, they were the only Raptors seen today, a GREY HERON, a few HERRING GULLS and a LESSER BLACK BACK GULL were the only flyovers seen this morning.

The Scrubby Woods and Lake area gave me some shelter from the rain, and as I stood under the Oak canopy a mixed feeding flock moved through above me, this included BLUE and GREAT TIT, CHAFFINCH, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and GOLDCREST, a few WRENS and ROBINS were tagging along with them as well, seeing that lot was probably the highlight of the morning  :-)  The adjacent main lake had a CORMORANT fishing on it, and a KINGFISHER flew across too, but that was it, apart from a lone Mallard and a MOORHEN family.

I finished up at the Tree Nursery, where a lone TURTLE DOVE and two STOCK DOVES flew from the vegetation, also here of note were a family of WHITETHROATS and a LESSER WHITETHROAT, this LINNET, one of a pair that were attending a nest site there, was the only photo taken this morning.
This afternoon things had both brightened and warmed up considerably, so i found some time to walk around the wilderness that is the Tree Nursery to find some Butterflies. There were plenty to be seen, mostly MEADOW BROWN, GATEKEEPER, and SKIPPERS, they were seen in there scores, also a HOLLY BLUE, a RED ADMIRAL, LARGE and SMALL WHITE and my first PEACOCK since May were all seen. I got a real bonus bird for July fly over whilst I was chasing the Butterflies, a SISKIN (63) came bounding over, calling as it went, the first ever Siskin to be recorded in any July, I wonder if this was a local breeder or a migrant bird from up north. The previous earliest Siskin was one recorded on August the 10th, back in 2004.
Peacock, isn't Ragwort a briliant plant for the insects!
Small White
This moth species was also enjoy some sun, I think it's a Six Spot Burnett Moth
Lastly, this Hawker Dragonfly was seen on the Hedge boundary, I think this is a Southern Hawker, or maybe a Migrant Hawker - i'll stick with the first option i think  :-)


Marc Heath said...

Tough Times as I suggest in today's posting but all the migrants will be returning through soon. Hopefully you will get your reward.

Phil said...

I too would go for Southern Hawker Warren.
Myself and Terry Laws had a couple of Siskins over NH a couple of weeks back, unusual in July.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Phil,
I'd almost forgotten what the call of Siskin was like, I had to think for a moment :-)

Warren Baker said...

A few weeks to go, and the first Chat should come through. Although a Sedgie would be a nice year tick!

Rohrerbot said...

I was just going to read today but then I saw your Peacock and Hawker Dragonfly! Nice shots. Beautiful.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Good plan sticking to Southern Hawker , a female .
Apart from colour and size , the two antehumeral stripes , behind the eyes and running head to tail on the thorax , are very broad on the Sthn. , much smaller on the Migrant .
Good to see the Peacock .

Jason K said...

Stunning set of flutter pics Warren and well done on the Siskin mate.

Funnily enough, I had Southern Hawker at Shenstone on friday and it's not a species I record often there

ShySongbird said...

Great photos again Warren. Those Six-spot Burnetts seem to be doing well this time, I have seen quite a few recently :-) Lovely to see the Peacock, hopefully there will be an emergence of them in the next few weeks.

I wonder if that 'lone' Turtle Dove had a partner until recently :-(

Ken. said...

I am pleased you had a good day birding/wildlife spotting.
There seems to be a lot of Burnet Moths around at the moment.
Really like the first shot of the Peacock Butterfly.

Warren Baker said...

I thought about the Turtle Dove as it sang, hoping that it wasn't it's mate that got ambushed