As I set off along Ashes Lane at 06:30hrs, JACKDAW, COLLARED DOVE, WOODPIGEON, BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, GREEN WOODPECKER, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, WREN, PHEASANT, GREAT TIT, LINNET, BLUE TIT, DUNNOCK, GOLDFINCH, HOUSE SPARROW, and CARRION CROW were all heard either singing or calling, all very springlike :-)
I made of circuit of Migrant Alley first off, so as to avoid the worst of the disturbance from the setting up of todays lambing event that is held on part of the sheep pasture. No Wheatear were found, as i had hoped for, but a selection of Gulls picked over the fields, mostly BLACKHEADED GULLS and a few HERRING GULLS, but 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were also present. A couple of SKYLARKS sang, and both MAGPIE and ROOKS fed on the horse paddocks. I passed the Greenhouse Copse and took a photo of the LITTLE OWL again, as I did so a TREECREEPER was heard singing further in the copse.
On the lakes only the COOT pair and MUTE SWAN were notable, just a few MALLARDS and MOORHEN were with them, but a MANDARIN DUCK called as it went over, but didn't alight on any of the lakes. A CANADA GOOSE was on a nest on the island on the main lake, its partner swimming nearby, keeping watch.
In the adjacent Scrubby Woods the highlight was a singing CHIFFCHAFF, but it was good to hear it being joined in song by SONGTHRUSH, COAL TIT, and GOLDCREST, calls from BULLFINCH and LONG TAILED TIT were heard, and the screech of JAYS echoed around the place.
I decided I had time to re visit Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Grounds, as the lambing event didn't open until 10:00hrs, I went via the Small Holding, where my 3rd Little Owl of the day was heard to call.
On reaching my seat I set to watching the blue sky, noting a passage of MEADOW PIPIT straight away, a LESSER REDPOLL also went over, calling as it did so. A couple of PIED WAGTAILS dropped into the Greenhouse Grounds, where both the KESTRELS were hunting. A SPARROWHAWK was circling up high, and as I followed it with my binoculars a large raptor came into view, which as it neared revealed itself to be a fantastic male RED KITE (70,64) ! What a great species to have visit! I willed it to come nearer for a photograph, but it moved of to the NW, cant complain at that though :-) Red Kites are becoming an annual sighting here, although still very scarce, just one sighting was had last year. COMMON BUZZARD was my fourth raptor species seen during my skywatch, where a few STARLINGS, more Redwing, and a GREYLAG GOOSE made the days list up to a fantastic 51 species, and that without finding a Nuthatch or Fieldfare :-)
The Red Kite is the 70th species for the year list, but that total was reached on the 12 February last year showing how slow it has been this winter/early spring.
Another Small White Butterfly was a good early record, got a record shot of this one through the 400mm prime lens, not really the ideal lens for butterflies!
|Small White Butterfly|