Saturday, 4 May 2013

Once again finding Spotted Flycatcher or Turtle dove was high on my agenda this morning, with Swift or garden warbler not too far behind.

From 06:00hrs until around 08:30hrs the remnants of yesterdays sunshine held out, but thereafter it clouded over and some blustery showers moved in for the rest of the 4 hour visit.

My early check of the College Grounds proved fruitless for that Spotted Flycatcher, while the check on the Wooded Headlands a short distance away also proved to be fruitless for that Turtle Dove. In the mean time I was recording most the regular species to be found here. The most notable change from the past few visits was the increase in GOLDCREST song, with two singing at the College Grounds, two at the Greenhouse Grounds, and another along Ashes Lane. There were also more LINNETS about this morning, at least 24 were feeding in a paddock at Migrant Alley, alas no migrant species were with them :-(

Nothing had changed from recent visits over at the scrubby Woods with its adjacent lakes, another 4 Goldcrest were noted, but the Garden warblers look to have abandoned this traditional breeding site, however I still hold out hope that a Turtle dove will turn up here yet  :-)

Later on, towards the end of my visit, I had my usual skywatch from my now windswept seat at Migrant Alley, hoping for a Swift to show up, but like the other migrant species on my wish list today, they were not forthcoming, I did see a HOBBY (57) though, another to add to the months list. At least 8 HOUSE MARTINS, a SKYLARK, a GREY HERON, a SPARROWHAWK and both LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULL were also seen going over, whilst behind me on the Greenhouse Guttering the KESTREL pair were observed mating again, not much of a romantic choice of venue  :-) 

I did at least get a photo or two today  :-)
BLACKBIRD, on my 'blog log' back at home


Marc Heath said...

Nice Wren shot giving it the big one. Still waiting for my first Reculver Hobby of the year.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Marc,
I was expecting the Swift before a Hobby!

Alan Pavey said...

Somre great shots again Warren, still no Hobby here but did pick-up Swift, Red Kite and Reed Warbler on a rare patch visit today :-)

Warren Baker said...

Alan, I have been scanning the sky for hours every day looking for red kite or Swift, no luck though!

Gravel Pit Birder said...

Maybe im not doing enough looking up...would love to get red kite but raptors seem rare round these parts, im amazed there is little to no kestrel or sparrowhawk activity.
hope a garwa turns up for you warren, dull at distance but beautiful in the hand.
this mornings singing garwa chose to compete with one nightingale twenty feet away in front of it, and therefore behind me, and another five feet to its left....

Joe said...

Hi Warren,

I guess there's still time for a lot of these spring migrants to come through, especially as the previous cold weather we had may have slowed their progress north down a bit. Well done on the Hobby sighting, that must have been a highlight. Also, great shots at the end there, that Linnet one is very nice.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Warren. Like Joe I like the Linnet, I can never get that close. The Wren is superb!

Nic Squirrell said...

Hi Warren,
Do you know anything about the history of Pittswood? Walked through it today and we are intrigued to know how the pits were formed - are they a natural feature?
Wonderful photos as always.