Saturday, 20 April 2013

The sun shone brightly as I left the house at just before 06:00hrs this morning, but within the hour a thick blanket of fog rolled in, so off I went back home for tea and toast!

Forty minutes later, the fog had cleared, leaving a legacy of patchy cloud and sunny spells, so off I went once again, however I had lost the advantage of an early start to beat the dog walkers and the farmer moving his sheep from one field to another over at Migrant Alley  :-(

For much of the visit, it was a case of 'as you were'  with little changing from yesterdays walk, the Willow Warblers seen then had moved on today, but a few more BLACKCAPS have arrived, especially over at the Scrubby Woods, where I noted 3 males chasing a female, and another male singing loudly with a repertoire of Nightingale notes in its song, had me excited for a moment or two! CHIFFCHAFFS, TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, WREN, DUNNOCK and ROBIN were also heard to sing withing the Scrubby Woods, but then, at last the song came that I was waiting for - the CUCKOO (88,72) one flew low over giving its song twice, before heading off over to the nearby Golf course, its arrival being 6 days later than the 12 year Median date.

A quick check of the lakes showed nothing new, apart from an overflying pair of MANDARIN DUCKS, the COOTS are feeding their young and the GREYLAGS are still incubating, 3 pairs of CANADA GEESE squabbled as usual, and 1 pair of MALLARD drifted out on the main lake.

A return to Migrant Alley, to finish off the earlier visit there was pretty poor really, it's been a poor spring for exciting migrants on this usually productive area of my patch, it's just so disturbed now :-( but I did catch up with the WHITETHROAT in the Wooded Headland, with it were a few more Chiffchaff and a couple of singing Blackcaps.

An hour and a half on my sky watching seat at the end of the walk, in a cool NE breeze, provided a bit of interest, with BUZZARD, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK all being given away to me by the alarm calls of the ever vigilant SWALLOWS, a couple of SKYLARKS sang as they passed over, and LESSER BLACK BACKED, BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS all flew past.

Back at home, I have re-instated a feeder in my garden and was surprised to see a SISKIN come to feed, this is the latest date I have recorded Siskin here by 7 days, the 12 year median last sighting for Siskin is the 27th March.

A decent enough daylist of 49 species were recorded, but it was just a tiny bit disappointing not to have added one more summer migrant species.
Male Blackcap, this is the one that had notes and phrases of Nightingale in his song
Wren -just using the normal notes of Wren song  :-)


Marc Heath said...

You have beat me to the Cuckoo, I was hoping for one this morning but had to do with Firecrest, Redstart and Lesser Whitethroat!!!!

Warren Baker said...

Blimey Marc,
Thats the quickest comment ive ever had!!

Is that all then ? Redstart, Firecrest and Lesser Whitethroat? :-) :-)

That little lot would have made for a spectacular visit here!!!

David Turner said...

Well done finally ticking off Cuckoo Warren :-) Sadly they're no longer an annual observation in my corner of the world but hopefully one will turn up this year.

Tim James said...

Great shots Warren and six days late for a Cuckoo doesn't seem so bad considering spring has been so tardy this year. Sounds like you have a great patch there – Tim

Stephen Mills said...

Great to see that you had a Cuckoo today!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with the Cuckoo , I searched all morning and got nothing .

Warren Baker said...

I think the time is approaching that Cuckoo's will sadly no longer be an occurrence in anyones part of the world :-(

Warren Baker said...

Hi Tim,
I wonder if the tardiness of the Cuckoo is due to the late spring, I reckon there are just fewer to go round now !

ShySongbird said...

There you are, I said it was probably just late! Well done Warren, that's great news :-)

Naughty Blackap teasing you with its Nightingale notes ;-) it allowed you a beautiful photo though as did the Wren.

Wall to wall sunshine here, really beautiful...and I couldn't take advantage of it as I'm under the weather :-(

Simon Tickle said...

Hi Warren,
pleased to hear that you found the cuckoo.
I am new to your blog, but was tempted by it to make a quick visit to Pittswood on Friday.

Warren Baker said...

You get yourself better soon! There is sunshine to be enjoyed :-)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Simon,
I hope you enjoyed the visit :-)