Sunday, 30 March 2014

The day started with hazy sunshine, then became warm by mid-morning, but then high cloud rolled in to spoil the afternoon.

First thing this this morning my walk around Migrant Alley coincided with even more dog walkers than normal, probably due to the clocks going forward, so it was pointless spending much time there, just a quick circuit of the fields and paddocks was had, where the BLACK HEADED GULLS were starting to drop into the sheep pasture, being joined by JACKDAWS, ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and WOODPIGEONS. A CHIFFCHAFF was singing from the Wooded Headland to the north of the paddocks, but apart from that it was all WRENS, ROBINS, DUNNOCKS and BLACKBIRDS
The Pub Field looks so promising, its been ploughed and muck spread, but little bird life is found on it, just more Rooks, Jackdaws and Woodpigeons, plus a pair of PIEd WAGTAILS. The adjacent Ashes lane Field had two MEADOW PIPITS fly from it and pair of SKYLARKS singing over it, one came down to its usual perch, giving me a distant photo opportunity. The LITTLE OWL pair were back around the nearby old shack and nest box again  :-)
The lakes were checked over, but hope of anything new on the water is fading fast now, I only check the CANADA GEESE and GREYLAG GEESE nests, both of which had sitting birds, the MUTE SWANS seem to have lost interest in nest building, or have they just taken a break ? A few MALLARDS were seen, and the odd MOORHEN called.

The highlight of todays patch visit was heard, then seen, in the Scrubby Woods, as my first BLACKCAP (74,69) of the year gave its lovely flutey song, it was soon joined by a second bird, a chase ensued and both birds disappeared into the dense cover. Little else was noted int here, the CHIFFCHAFFS continue to sing, but only COAL TIT, Blackbird, Wren and Dunnock were heard singing with them. The months list has now reached 69, a total that was also achieved in both March 2009 and March 2011, this is the second highest March total so far, just 2 behind the record tally of 71, which was achieved in 2010.

A pair of MANDARIN DUCK were once again seen in the Wet Woods, where a couple of BUZZARDS were seen flying through the top most branches of the trees, JAYS screeched and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS drummed, but like the Scrubby Woods, it was much quiter than recent visits.

I returned to the pasture and paddocks, and sat at my sky watching seat in some pleasant sunshine, seeing both KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK up hunting, plus more Buzzards, two were local birds, but on all horizons, distant birds were picked out. I convinced myself the first swallow of spring would fly over, and the first Orange Tip Butterfly would flutter past, but neither happened, thats a pleasure for another morning :-)

At midday, the wife and I went up to the redundant church on the high ground to the NE of my patch, the graveyard here is one of those not mown or tidied - too much, and as such is a brilliant place for wildlife, we often go up there, I take my macro camera, the wife takes her book! However, as we arrived the sun went in behind some high cloud, and remain ed there all afternoon, which meant the insects all went into hiding too! I did find this Bee though, I think it may be a Common Carder Bee, a striking looking bee whatever it is  :-)
Common Carder Bee ?


Marc Heath said...

They are slowly arriving, should be a few arrivals in the week for you............. and me I hope!

Warren Baker said...

Maybe a Willow warbler next week ? :-)

Might pop down to Dunge on Wednesday, get my ear in for those Acro Warblers, if any arrive :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Blackcap here today too, always great to hear the first one on the patch :-)