Thursday, 27 March 2014

Muck spreading on the Pub Field
Their was a frosty start to this mornings patch visit, a visit that lingered into the early afternoon, when a few light showers drifted over the area.

I was out for eight hours in total, minus a few minutes for a snack break around 11:00hrs, when I saw LESSER REDPOLL and SISKIN at my garden feeders, they took the species tally to a nice round 50 for the day  :-)

Still nothing new for the months list, or the year list in though, but a real mix of species made for an enjoyable Day. I was however 90% sure I had seen a Redstart over at Migrant Alley, but before I got my bins on it the stable girls led a couple of horses out to graze and flushed the bird off. I hung around for half an hour checking every DUNNOCK, ROBIN, GREAT TIT and CHAFFINCH, but the disturbance from dog walkers and stable girls made it pointless to hang around any longer, the bird had obviously moved on, a shame, Redstarts are a real scarce migrant bird here, I only get one, maybe two pass through, and not every year at that  :-(

The heavy disturbance at Migrant Alley continued throughout the day, I made several returns to check for passage Migrants but each time there was something happening, mainly from parties of students wandering about, one set of youths even crossed into the Greenhouse Grounds to kick and poke sticks into the bee hive there - the tutor just wandered off !

As you can see from the photo above, the Pub Field was being muck spread, I watched for some time, but the only birds to take advantage of the insects were a couple of PIED WAGTAILS, a Chaffinch and a party of ROOKS, the field will probably be ploughed tomorrow, maybe that will bring in something.

I did have a bit of a wander around the Scrubby Woods, Wet Woods and Lake area, mainly to try and find a Blackcap, which I didn't do, but most of the regulars turned out instead, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST and BULLFINCH were all seen well, CHIFFCHAFFS sang, and a NUTHATCH called, a pair of COAL TITS were inspecting a potential nest hole, and a pair of MANDARIN DUCKS that flew from the Wet Woods are probably looking for the same thing.

On the lakes a CORMORANT was the first seen on the water this month, the MUTE SWANS were nest building, the CANADA GOOSE was sitting on her nest, and a pair of GREYLAG GEESE were looking like they were interested in nesting on one of the small islands. The COOTS have probably got a nest somewhere, but I cant see all of the potential sites.

Other bits seen were, a couple of BUZZARDS up soaring, a hunting SPARROWHAWK, flyovers from a few MEADOW PIPITS, a YELLOWHAMMER and a couple of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, at least 100 BLACK HEADED GULLS that were flushed from field to field, and the pair of LITTLE OWLS at the old shack in the Ashes lane Field, one of which sat in a nearby nest box that I put up 10 years ago, ive never seen anything use it in all that time until now!
A distant shot of the Little Owl, mustn't upset them at their potential nest site!


Marc Heath said...

Just scanning your blog during my 3 hour parents evening, yes I'm bored already!! A good tally of birds seen today. I photographed a Red crested Pochard yesterday at Grove Ferry, see the Stour Valley site for a distant effort.

Warren Baker said...

Bored Marc ?
What with all those interesting parents to talk to!

Pete Woodruff said...

A long ten years wait Warren, but how brilliant that the Little Owl appears to have taken a liking to your efforts.

Alan Pavey said...

Redstart would have been nice Mate, rare here too less than annual.

Seumus Eaves said...

That sounded like a thoroughly pleasant day Warren. I slipped up this morning as it was p*ssing down and I didn't go out, but my mate did and had the first Ring Ouzel of the spring for the Obs! I think there's a lesson to be learned there!

Warren Baker said...

I had given up hope of that box ever being used!

Warren Baker said...

It's always worth some kind of visit at this time of year, you just never know :-)