Wednesday, 27 March 2013

This morning, whilst on my penultimate walk to work through the Sheep pasture at Migrant Alley provided me with a couple of nice sightings, a pair of LAPWING (62), the first seen since Feb 23rd, they were joined by 6 COMMON GULLS and a MEDITERRANEAN GULL. These winter visitors were not exactly the visitors I was hoping to find at this time of the year! Further on, as I passed through the College Grounds, I had a look up the nearby stream, and was very pleased to see my first GREY WAGTAIL (77,63) of the year bounding its way across the water, are things beginning to move at last ?

This afternoon I made a visit to the Pub Field, the sun was trying to peak through the greyness of the day, and although it's warmth could be felt, the nagging and biting east wind soon took it away, none-the-less it was a much brighter day, and I was hoping to scan the newly muck spread Pub Field in an attempt to pick up a spring migrant, alas despite me scanning the field till my eyes watered, no new visitors were found. I did see about 70 ROOKS, 50 JACKDAWS and a mix of WOODPIGEON, STOCK DOVE and FERAL PIGEON - that is until a female SPARROWHAWK flew low over, scattering them all into the sky and off to pastures anew!

I decided on another visit to Migrant Alley, I wanted to scan all the fence lines, posts and paddocks for a possible spring Wheatear or maybe even a Black Redstart, but again I failed to find either, just more Rooks and Jackdaws were present. I passed through the wooded headland to the north of the paddocks, hoping to hear my first Chiffchaff of the spring, but just a singing DUNNOCK and scolding WREN were found, passerine birds are really thin on the ground here at the moment  :-(

Alas, another day goes by without a spring Chiffchaff, 12 days have passed since their 11 year Median average arrival date, and I have never gone a March without a Chiffchaff, thats unthinkable!

I spent half an hour shivering in the wind at my sky watching seat, seeing little go over, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and a few SISKIN were the best of it, a LITTLE OWL called from the Greenhouse Copse a hundred yards away. On the way home this pair of MALLARD were seen at the Greenhouse Grounds, dont know what they are doing here!
Mallard pair
So things look like they might be on the turn, the two new species seen this morning take the March list to 63, the joint sixth best March tally out of 12, joint with 2006. Will I find a Chiffchaff before the new month  ? Stay tuned!!

There was still some light left for some garden bird photo's when I got home, ive photographed them so often I get to recognize individuals now! But they do Brighten the post  :-)
Long Tailed Tit
Nuthatch - with nut :-)


ShySongbird said...

Things don't feel like they're on the turn at all here Warren. Still horribly cold and the sun only showed once and was gone again within seconds :-( Super photos again! I agree, they brighten the post and brighten these miserable, dull days too.

Anonymous said...

Another enjoyable and informative read Warren and beautifully illustrated (the Nuthatch and Long Tail shots particularly). I too have been waiting to hear my first Chiffchaff of the year as usually they have arrived back by the last week of March up here.

Warren Baker said...

Spring is coming Songbird - just excruciatingly slowly!!

Warren Baker said...

Hi David,
it wont be long now, Chiffies are on the move!