Friday, 3 May 2013

After a frosty start the morning warmed up nicely, with wall to wall sunshine for the rest of the day - and lovely it was!

I carried out a full patch walk today, and in 5 hours recorded fifty species, (51 with the SISKIN seen at my garden feeders during my snack break) which is always a a good tally here at Pittswood.

My early visit to the College Grounds to see if any Spotted Flycatchers had arrived, ended with none being seen, however it was good to see a CUCKOO fly over whilst I was there, a presumed passage bird. A new WHITETHROAT had arrived along the College stream and was singing well, that makes three singing males here now, with the other ones being at the Greenhouse Grounds and Ashes Lane hedgerow.

The Wet Woods provided me with a new species for the month, when a male MANDARIN DUCK (55) was seen on the pools of water there, hopefully a sign that the female could be on a nest in there somewhere, this would be the third year running that breeding has been confirmed here, if indeed they do!

On the Lakes today the CANADA GEESE were the dominant species with 14 being seen, there were 4 GREYLAGS with them and the feral BARNACLE GOOSE too. A distant view of just one adult and one young COOT was had, but they were obscured from my view so more young may be there.

The adjacent Scrubby Woods was a little more lively than of late, probably due to the warmer conditions, with song from : BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLETHRUSH, STOCK DOVE,  WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, CHAFFINCH, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST, with calls heard from BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, JAY, BLUE TIT and GREAT TIT.

As usual towards at the end of my circuit I make my way over to my seat at Migrant Alley for a sky watch, I went via the Ashes Lane field today, and saw a LITTLE OWL in the old shack at the bottom of the field, then in an adjacent large garden a BUZZARD flew up, as I watched it spiral higher into the blue, a GREY HERON flapped loose-winged over the top of it  :-)

During my Sky watch, under a warm sun ( yes! a warm sun and no cold north wind) I recorded just a few bits and pieces, the best of which was a YELLOW WAGTAIL (56) for the months list, HERRING GULL, KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK another Buzzard, a SKYLARK and a flight of 9 Greylag Geese, were about the best of the rest today.

During my walk I added Holly Blue Butterfly to the Butterfly year list, bringing that to just 10 species, and while at home this afternoon working in the garden my first Damsel was seen at my pond, a Large Red. All this and not a single photo was obtained! It wasn't that i didn't try, just one of those days..................I blame the strong light!!!!!!!!!!  LoL


Marc Heath said...

A Large Red Damsel, that would make a nice shot, another of my targets for this year. Nice to see the butterflies on the wing.

Warren Baker said...

I tried to get a photo of the Damsel, but it got away :-)

Phil said...

I would have loved some strong light here in Mull over the last few days Warren. It's been raining pretty much non stop for two days now.
Looking forward to getting back to some flutters and damsels now.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Phil,
So thats why the weather has cheered up! Phils gone to Mull. You have a good time up there, no hurry to get back mate! LoL

Anonymous said...

Great news as regards the spotting of a Large Red Damselfly and it reminds me that I must really start getting ready for the new odonata season :-) You've now well and truly overtaken me on the butterfly front (just 7 species here thus far) and well done actually managing to see a Cuckoo :-)

Strong light is far too often a nuisance here in the UK isn't it ;-)

Warren Baker said...

Good luck with those Dragons and Damsels Dave.
I'm sure the light wont be around too much longer to spoil things ;-)

Joe said...

Hi Warren, sounds like a good session all round. Must've been nice to see that Cuckoo as well. Also good look with the Mandarins nesting :)