Saturday, 13 April 2013

For a few short lived hours this morning it seemed spring was finally here! Some warm sunshine developed and with light winds it felt very pleasant, before rain and wind moved in for early afternoon !

A good 4 hours was spent out enjoying the early morning though, and a good total of 50 species was encountered. A couple of these were lingering winter species, like the FIELDFARE, one of which was seen in the wooded headland at Migrant Alley, the other a passage of MEADOW PIPITS heading NW, but the day belonged to the arriving summer birds, two SWALLOWS were seen around the private stables opposite my house, these are local birds having made it home safely, also my first HOUSE MARTIN (82, 64) of the year was seen over the Greenhouse Grounds, having arrived 3 days earlier than the median date. 3 BLACKCAPS fed together in a pussy willow tree at the College Grounds, most certainly hungry migrants, at least 5 CHIFFCHAFFS are now on territory, one at the College grounds, one in the wooded  headland, two in the Scrubby Woods and the last around the lakes, where today 14 CANADA GEESE, 4 GREYLAG GEESE, the feral BARNACLE GOOSE, 4 MALLARD 4 MOORHEN and the COOT family were all seen. Unfortunately the Canada Geese have left their nest on the main lake island, the eggs can be seen scattered from the nest, quite abandoned, a Greylag is still sitting on its nest on one of the islands of the smaller lake though.

Other highlights of my walk were seeing two JAYS screeching at something in a tall fir tree in a large garden adjacent to the Wet Woods, this turned out to be a TAWNY OWL (65) which flew out for deeper cover into the Wet Woods, a good April species to get on the months list  :-) Also watching 3 BUZZARDS circle low over the (ex)Tree Nursery was an awesome experience, great birds to watch  :-)  Just one KESTREL was seen, but no Sparrowhawk today.

BLACKBIRDS were noted carrying food for nestlings, SKYLARKS sang as they passed over, 2 male LINNETS sang from the Greenhouse Grounds and a BLUE TIT was observed carrying nest material into one of my nest boxes there, all very positive at last  :-)
One of the 3 Buzzards seen soaring together
Back at home a Blackcap was again at the feeders, it took sunflower hearts from the tube feeder, not the sort of behaviour one would associate with these insectivorous birds. Also a couple LONG TAILED TITS, and 4 SISKIN were seen, didn't get those on my full patch walk this morning, so that's 52 species seen today!
Blackcap
Blackcap
WOODPIGEON

15 comments:

Marc Heath said...

Very Nice Blackcap shot. Saw my first today. Hopefully a few more treats tomorrow.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Marc,
I'd love to hear the Willow Warbler in song :-)

Adam said...

nice pigeon

Jason K said...

It's good that the hirrundines and warbler numbers are starting to come through now Warren...I've still not had a sniff of Wheatear as yet mind!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Adam :-)

Warren Baker said...

Jason,
Not a sniff of Wheatear here either :-(

David Turner said...

Good stuff as always Warren and good to know that House Martins are back in the UK :-)

ShySongbird said...

Well done with the House Martin Warren and that was a nice sighting of the Tawny too. A shame about the Canada Geese though. Love the Blackcap photos. The ones which visit me in winter love the sunflower heart feeders.

Warren, have you ever discovered young Findlay's blog he is a very keen birder and if you scroll to his March 29th post you will see he is a regular ringer too! If you do have a spare moment he could do with cheering up today! Hope you don't mind me mentioning it.

Warren Baker said...

Hi David,
Yep good to get the House Martins, hope to get something else tomorrow - Cuckoo perhaps? :-)

Warren Baker said...

Songbird,
whizzing over to findlay now :-)

ShySongbird said...

Thanks Warren that was really kind of you...but of course you always are :-)

Deano said...

Sod all for me over the last 3 days, Warren :(

Anthony Miners said...

Like the Blackcap images good stuff.

Pete Woodruff said...

Great to see the 'local' Swallows are back and that you have seen your first House Martin of 2013.

Have a good Sunday Warren.

Alan Pavey said...

Good stuff Warren nice pics and the year list ticks on :-)