The first was at 06:00hrs, when a 90 minute look around Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Complex was made, very little was new, but a WILLOW WARBLER singing at the Greenhouse Grounds was most certainly a passage bird. ROOKS, JACKDAWS, WOODPIGEONS and a small flock of 20-30 STARLINGS were on the sheep pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley, but there were no passage migrant species to be found. SWALLOWS from the College Stables, as well as the private stables opposite my house, had gathered to feed around the fly ridden sheep - easy pickings :-) Overflying LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, and 6 HERRING GULL were noted, as well as a GREY HERON.
On a subsequent patch visit, a little later in the morning, I went over to the Scrubby Woods and lake area, where I sat and listened, song from BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, COAL TIT and STOCK DOVE was heard, as well as calls from NUTHATCH, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, LONG TAILED TIT and GREEN WOODPECKER, a distant GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drummed from the Wet Woods area. After about 10 minutes of listening, I finally heard the CUCKOO again, calling repeatedly, just off patch, but it did fly over giving me a nice view :-)
On the lakes today, 6 CANADA GEESE carried on arguing noisily, and two pairs of GREYLAGS were present, one on nest sitting duties. Just one male MALLARD was seen, and a few skulking MOORHENS, while the COOT pair had separated to different parts of the lake, one of which I could see had two of the young, but I couldn't see any of the other 4 that were here on Saturday.
This afternoon I had a bit of a skywatching session, finding all the three regular Raptors up hunting, they being KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and BUZZARD, but little else exciting was seen. I did a circuit of the paddocks again, but with the same result as this morning, mind you there had been lots of disturbance there, seen whilst I sat on my seat.
As I waked home, a WHITETHROAT was heard giving a bit of subdued song from the battered hedgerow along Ashes lane which borders the Tree Nursery Field, this was is all likely hood one that bred in the field last year, so it will have to move elsewhere now, probably off patch as there is little suitable habitat here now :-(
46 species were seen today, not bad as I didn't do a full patch walk.
|Blackcap - From my garden, this female is still feeding on the fat bar, shows just how few insects are about, despite it being late April.|
|This Dunnock is also finding my food easier to get than the insects!|