Sunday, 2 February 2014

A three and a half hour patch walk this morning, in some sunshine for once, produced a good tally of 45 bird species, 6 of those being new for the February list.

The first of those additions was seen in the Wet Woods, where a JAY (48) was found, unfortunately it was being chased by a SPARROWHAWK, the Jay eventually escaped, though I think the chase was half hearted by the Sprawk :-) The Wet Woods also provided the first TREECREEPER (49) for the months list.

On reaching the lakes this morning I was disappointed to see that some fisherman had set up camp by the Small lake, that explained why there were few MALLARD about, and just one female GOOSANDER on the adjacent main lake, that didn't stay long though. Two pairs of MANDARIN were also spooked out of their cover, and flew off. The MUTE SWAN and COOT pair on the ornamental lake didn't seem to care about the noise coming from the anglers though.

I had a look for the Water Rail that was seen yesterday, but there was no sign of it in the 15 minutes I spent looking.

Over on the Fields of Migrant Alley, there was a flock of mixed Gulls on the sheep pasture, most being HERRING GULLS, but with them were 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, 2 BLACK HEADED GULLS and 3 COMMON GULLS (50) to add to the February list, bringing up the fifty, a pair of SKYLARKS (51) also got up from the pasture.

I checked on the LITTLE OWL that sat in its favoured tree over at the Greenhouse Copse, then had a look around the Greenhouse Grounds, finding a single LESSER REDPOLL (52) with half a dozen GOLDFINCH feeding in the line of Alders there. The final addition to the months list this morning was a KESTREL (53), the female was hunting along Ashes Lane, between the Greenhouse Grounds and Ashes Lane Field.

Not a bad visit today then, 53 species for the month in the first two days is a good start, but it will start to get more difficult to add species now, although I should certainly find a Pheasant and Redwing, also i'm quietly confident of finding Yellowhammer, Linnet, Greylag and Canada Goose, plus surely the first Grey Heron of the year! So 60 species for February should be a good possibility  :-)
Lesser Redpoll
Lesser Redpoll
When I arrived home from my walk, I saw a butterfly floating around my garden, I watched it alight on the boundary wall to soak up some warm sunshine, revealing itself to be a Red Admiral, a real good feel factor for the day! I took some photo's of it, but my 500mm lens only close focus's down to 2 meters, so they aren't the sharpest images :-)
A sure sign of the imminent arrival of spring, early but wet by the looks of things!
Red Admiral


Marc Heath said...

Spring must be on its way, a butterfly, very nice indeed.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Good to see the sunshine and the Red Admiral .
Also pleased you got he Water Rail on your previous post .

Anonymous said...

Great to see a butterfly Warren, I half expected to see one up here today what with the sunshine but no such luck. Nice shots of the Redpoll too :-)

Alan Pavey said...

That is a good start to the month indeed :-)

Jason K said...

Blimey that is an early Red Admiral Warren....If I was him I would head back into hibernation!

Seumus Eaves said...

Those Lesser Redpoll shots are great Warren! A Red Admiral in early Feb, it must be mild!