Sunday, 14 April 2013

It was disappointing to say the least to find there was still rain falling first thing this morning, especially after all the build up from the weather people saying that today was going to be warm and sunny for us!

The warm and sun did break through eventually, and most welcome it was, but the first 2 hours of my visit was quite unremarkable given the time of year. I visited the lakes and Scrubby Woods, hoping for a Cuckoo to call or a Willow warbler to sing, but neither did, a treat for another day ?  I noted down what was on the water, 6 CANADA GEESE, 4 GREYLAG GEESE ( one on nest still) 2 MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN and a GREY HERON, the COOT pair fed at least 4 of their six young, as far as I could see.

I made my way home for a quick snack and drink, however, while eating, I watched my garden feeders and was really happy to see a BRAMBLING (83, 66), great to get one for the year list, a difficult bird to add here  :-)  I decided to postpone my walk for a while, and try for some Brambling photo's, which I got eventually . (below)
I got this record shot first, from my study window
Before moving to my Garden shed for a closer attempt
I got some nice close ups, but had to put up with the feeder chains in the frame - not the first time I've had to do that!
An hour later I was back out on patch, the sun was just breaking through and it felt warm, the warmest since last September! I walked through Migrant Alley noting the KESTREL pair at the Greenhouses on the way, and a LITTLE OWL at the Greenhouse Copse. LESSER BLACK BACK, HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS were moving in small numbers North to South, over the sheep pasture, where around 40 ROOKS were feeding. My usual scan of the fence lines and posts was had, and a distant aberration broke the straight wooden fence rail, which on closer approach turned out to be my first WHEATEAR (84, 67) of the year, it soon flew out onto one of the paddocks, but I got a distant record shot of it - what great looking birds they are   :-)
My first Wheatear this year - distant, but it will do!
I carried on my walk, looking through the College Grounds, where I heard my first bit of BLACKCAP song of the spring, very nice  :-) but that was the best of it there.

I ended the walk over on my seat at Migrant Alley, where an hour watching the sky was had. During that hour I saw two SPARROWHAWKS, 3 BUZZARDS, many MEADOW PIPITS, heard but unseen, a HOUSE MARTIN, and two SKYLARKS. Two SWALLOWS were noted as I looked over the College Stables, more birds arriving home  :-) Whilest two more were observed over the Greenhouses, which are the ones that nest at the private stables opposite my house.

Another good tally of 50 species seen today then, and the year list moves ever nearer to 100, be great to achieve the fastest 100 this year - May 17th is the day to beat.

Its 18:30hrs now, so i'm off out for another sit at my seat at Migrant Alley - hence this bit of a rushed post!


Marc Heath said...

Lovely shots from the hide Warren. A cracker of a bird.

Jason K said...

Great shots of the Brambling warren...may be the last time you see one until the winter.

As for the Wheatear...still no sign at Shenstone, although I did find one at another Worcestershire site tody

ShySongbird said...

Well done on the Wheatear Warren :-) Also on the Brambling, the shed shots are particularly gorgeous! I didn't see so much of the ones in my garden this year just fleeting glimpses and no photos at all this time.

I realised a few days ago that our promised wonderful weekend weather was slowly sliding away but hoped you would be luckier. We did have some sunny periods but very blustery winds.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with your first Wheatear of the year .
I haven't seen a Brambling this Winter , or last if my memory serves .

Pete Woodruff said...

Long live the garden shed Warren....and the Wheatear you've been waiting for.

Anonymous said...

Nice bird for the garden..that Brambling :)

Alan Pavey said...

Nice stuff Warren, it's certainly been a busy weekend, great shots ;-)