Sunday, 24 March 2013

A thin coating of snow covered my patch this morning, and as I left for my full patch walk the sleet/snow was still falling in a bitterly cold NE wind, temperatures didn't get above freezing until the middle of the day.

I spent just 3 hours out, not really enough time to do a full patch walk justice, but in the cold conditions it was not a good idea to hang around in one spot for too long. I was surprised that I amassed a daylist of 44 species, as birds were very few and far between, even the likes of BLUE TIT, DUNNOCK, WREN and BLACKBIRD had to be winkled out !

As expected, no spring migrants were found, indeed the only signs of spring from the birds was a bit of song from a ROBIN and some drumming from a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER over in the Wet Woods.

Trying to pick out some highlights from the visit then -  easily the best sighting was a flyover PEREGRINE (61) only the second sighting of one this year, it flew west over the Scrubby Woods, seen whilst I took shelter under some outbuildings next to the Lakes. On the Lakes were just 1 pair of CANADA GEESE which have a nest on the island, 1 pair of MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN and a COOT.

Both BULLFINCH and GOLDCREST called from the adjacent Scrubby Woods, and a TREECREEPER was seen there too, while overhead the first of 5 single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS noted during the visit flew over.

A BUZZARD and a SPARROWHAWK were up hunting over the Tree Nursery, but there was no sign of a KESTREL today, unusually. 4 REDWING were moving around the shrubs, with at least 3 SONGTHRUSH and the GREEN WOODPECKER pair.

At Migrant Alley,18 BLACK HEADED GULLS and 2 COMMON GULLS were with the 50-70 ROOKS, and 5 FIELDFARE flew over, the only ones recorded this morning.

A GREY HERON was seen over on one of the small ponds at the College Grounds, where a small gathering of 6-8 SISKIN were seen feeding on fallen Alder seeds, MISTLETHRUSH, LONG TAILED TIT, PIED WAGTAIL and a good number of GREENFINCHES, (a good number being 8-10 nowadays) were all seen in the garden areas.

Not a bad visit, but not as enjoyable as previous March visits, both 2011 and 2012 on todays date had warm sunny conditions, with Chiffchaffs and butterflies!

No photo's today - sorry folks  :-(


Anonymous said...

Will this winter ever end ! It is certainly remarkably different from last year when as you say we already had butterflies and Chiffchaffs by this time.

I've also been enjoying a catch up of your latest posts and those Sparrowhawk and Little Owl shots are fantastic :-)

Marc Heath said...

I was hoping to go and look for Brimstone's today, not much hope of that. Surely soon it will get better........ won't it!

ShySongbird said...

It's horrible! Last year on the 23rd I was sat by the river in Stratford-upon-Avon in very warm sunshine eating an ice cream...what a difference this year and no sign of much improvement :-(

Warren Baker said...

thanks for the kind comments on the photo's mate :-)

Warren Baker said...

Not getting any warmer this week, but maybe brighter ?

Warren Baker said...

Last year at this time I commented that the summer might be a washout after such a good spring, it proved correct!

Maybe this summer will be a scorcher after such a poor spring.....I bloody well hope so!!!! :-)

ShySongbird said...

I keep saying the same thing Warren....not sure I'm convincing any one...or even myself :-)