Saturday, 8 March 2014

Early cloud and a bit of a breeze made it feel quite cool this morning, but the cloud burnt back and the sun came out, making for a superb spring day  :-)

I had three hours out on my patch, which proved to be much more enjoyable than yesterday. A pair of BULLFINCH were seen in the Greenhouse Grounds as I walked along Ashes lane first thing, and the LITTLE OWL was again in the shack at the ashes lane Field.

On the lakes there was a nice surprise, a pair of TEAL (67, 59) had dropped onto the main lake, the first this year, next to them was a pair of MANDARIN DUCK, all very nice  :-)  The feral BARNACLE GOOSE was on the small lake, with 8 CANADA GEESE, plus the MUTE SWAN and COOT pair were on the ornamental lake.

Whilst in the Wet Woods I came across a small mixed flock of birds, mostly BLUE and GREAT TITS, but with those there were 2 TREECREEPERS and 2 LONG TAILED TITS, also, there was a single CHIFFCHAFF (68, 60) the first migrant of the spring, this is the earliest non overwintering Chiffchaff I have encountered on my patch by 2 days. They are only little dowdy birds, with a repetitive simple song, but they represent so much - spring really is here!

Boosted by the arrival of the Chiffchaff, I had a good look at the fence posts and paddocks at Migrant Alley, hoping for a very early wheatear, but I didn't find any, the earliest Wheatear I have recorded here is the 14th March, that was back in 2009. Whilst walking a circuit of Migrant Alley, 8 REDWING and 18 FIELDFARE flew over, headed NE, 60 STARLINGS alighted in the sheep pasture, the most seen here all winter, less appealing were the sheep with their lambs, another batch of habitat munching menaces!

At the Greenhouse Grounds a couple of MEADOW PIPIT, 3 LINNET, 2 PIED WAGTAILS, and this pheasant were most noteworthy.
Female Pheasant
She was too close to fit all of her in the frame!
A short sky watch was a bit better than recent days, with GREY HERON, KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and 2 BUZZARDS being seen.

This afternoon I was back over at the Greenhouse Grounds, looking for Butterflies, I found only one species, but there were at least 3 of them - the Small Tortoiseshell.


Marc Heath said...

I reckon you are standing on the back of that Pheasant so it can't escape. Anything for a photo!!

Warren Baker said...

Well, I had to get something other than garden species on the blog somehow Marc!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Nice to see butters featuring again - hope it's a good year for them



Alan Pavey said...

Two new birds great stuff, feels like I'm not going to see anything new, there's been nothing for ages!

Warren Baker said...

I know how you feel Alan!!