Thursday, 13 June 2013

I did my best, in some awful weather this morning, to get round for a full patch walk and although I completed the walk the strong wind and drizzly rain made for a very low species tally of just 39.

I first headed off to the new part of my patch which is replacing the college grounds and gardens. A half mile walk along High House Lane led me to 3 arable fields which are planted with broad beans, that part of the walk was made worthwhile by the singing of both YELLOWHAMMER and SKYLARK, two species that don't get recorded at the college grounds. WHITETHROAT, CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP territories were found, but the weather made it hard to find much more.

I entered Migrant Alley from the north, and checked the Wooded Headlands, the wind roaring through the trees made it a pointless task really, but the song of WREN, CHAFFINCH and ROBIN filtered through to my ears. Crossing Migrant Alley, I noted 15-20 Gulls on the paddock that's being ripped up, 5 of these were LESSER BLACK BACKED the rest HERRING GULLS. A few SWALLOWS zipped around the sheep pasture, and two SWIFTS were up high, but apart from the usual ROOKS, WOODPIGEONS and STARLINGS that was about it. I looked at the Greenhouise Grounds, where one of the KESTREL pair was seen, but the Little Owl wasn't there today.

Walking over to the Wet Woods across the Ashes Lane field, 8 STOCK DOVES flew up, a good number for my patch. The Wet Woods, Scrubby Woods and lakes gave me very little indeed, the darkness at times, added with the wind and rain, made it feel like a November walk! I noted the three COOT young on the lake doing well though. I did get a highlight for the walk finally, when just as I was leaving for home from the Scrubby woods, a TAWNY OWL (62) twice hooted, good one for the June list  :-)

This afternoon I decided to go over to my seat for a sky watch at Migrant Alley for an hour, hoping the wind might blow something across the leaden sky, but virtually nothing was seen, just a SPARROWHAWK and a GREY HERON of note. However, I noticed that the Gulls had slowly began increasing over at the ripped up paddock, where the bulldozers and trucks were still busy. I decided to go and check them out and was surprised to see 50-60 gulls wheeling around and feeding on the turned soil, at least 13 of them were Lesser Black Backed Gulls, the rest being mixed age Herring Gulls, but more exciting were the 9 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (63) one of which was an immature, easily the highest count for this species ever recorded on my patch  :-)

The two new species for the month bring the June tally to a much more respectable 63, just one more species is needed now to reach the 12 year June average  :-)
I couldn't get near the gull flock, so took this record shot of 6 of the Med Gulls plus the immature one on the extreme right
3 Adult Med Gulls and the Immature, plus a few mixed age Herring Gulls, and an adult plus an immature LBB Gull
Two more poor photo's for you today, These are of a newly fledged BLUE TIT that was in my garden, hunkering down out of the wind and rain yesterday evening.  :-)
Newly fledged Blue Tit taking a nap  :-)
Disgruntled Blue Tit after the sound of my camera shutter woke it up!!


Anonymous said...

I remember you having quite a few Mediterranean Gulls on your patch during the winter Warren, they obviously like your neck of the woods despite the less than Mediterranean weather :-)

I hope you get some interesting birds in the new part of your patch, maybe you'll find something new there to add to your impressive & growing lists :-)

Warren Baker said...

Hi David,
Apart from last winter, Med Gulls have only graced my patch once before, to see 9 here is a good record, especially in June, when Gulls are normally hard to come by :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Come hail, rain, snow, always 'do your best'. And yes, an excellent Med Gull record Warren.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

9 Meds - sounds to me like heaven!



Gravel Pit Birder said...

Nice pictures Warren...and indeed...this weather...what a to absolutely sick of it (possibly not as much as the birds, bees, moths and butterflies et al)though when i think of you out there just about every day i suppose i shouldnt complain too loudly....bird on Warren!!