Thursday, 9 May 2013

There was some nice sunshine first thing this morning, but the weather deteriorated as the morning went on, becoming cloudy with a strong westerly wind.

I spent 4 hours out, in what, for the month of May, proved to be a very quiet visit, average at best. Just 41 species were recorded, none of them new to the month or year list. I still await the Spotted Flycatchers arrival, searching the College Grounds for one, as well as the large gardens along Ashes lane where territories have been occupied in years gone by.

There were a few bits and pieces to report though, over on the lakes the GREYLAG GEESE have hatched out at least 3 goslings, they didn't breed here last year, but in 2011 they had goslings by May 4th, so they aren't too far behind schedule. A new family of MALLARDS were found in the Wet Woods, these two species, plus the COOTS and the BLACKBIRD are the only birds to have produced young so far this year.

Three BUZZARDS were interacting low over the Greenhouse Grounds, a joy to watch as they tumbled and chased in the strong wind, a couple of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, and 4 HERRING GULLS were also seen as I watched the Buzzards.

Later in the morning I visited the College Grounds again, something I don't normally do at that time of day as it is so busy over there, but I wanted to check the ponds for Damselflies, of which I only found one very wary Large Red, however I did get to see a HOBBY go whizzing past on the wind, and also got good views of a Grass Snake. A MISTLETHRUSH feeding on the College Sports pitch made the daylist up to 43, still well below what should be expected at this time of year though.

Good job the Grass Snake turned up, as it proved the only photo opportunity of the day! It was quite a nice size, over a meter long, shame I had changed lenses, the snake was out on the pond amongst the Reeds, so I couldn't get as close as I'd have liked, but the 300mm lens did an adequate job  :-)
Grass Snake
Grass Snake
You can see it was quite a good size specimen   :-)


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Nice shots of the Grass Snake .
At 1 mtr+ , would suggest it was probably a female .
That wind was awful .

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Lucky so-n-so!!!!
Spot fly in the big park here this morning, needless to say I didn't see it, so they can't be far away now Warren



Warren Baker said...

The weather people say todays wind was caused by an 'unusually deep low pressure system for this time of year'.............thats what they said last May!!

Warren Baker said...

Just hope one turns up here this year, cant keep losing the Summer migrants on my patch!

Pete Woodruff said...

Believe it or not....never seen a Grass Snake in my life Warren.

Marc Heath said...

Very nice shots Warren.

Chris Rohrer said...

Adequate for you is awesome for us:) Nice shots!

Adam said...

cool snake

Jason K said...

Not had Hobby through my patch as yet this year...soon I hope.

Cracking Grass Snake shots btw

Tim James said...

Fabulous shots Warren. I've never seen one, so I'm very jealous. Great work – Tim

ShySongbird said...

It's very handsome Warren, quite hefty too. I particularly like the first photo :-)