Friday, 28 March 2014

There was hazy sunshine for much of today after a misty start, and as yesterday, a very good species count was made during the 4 and a half hour patch visit. I recorded 53 species, that's 3 more than yesterday, even though that visit had Cormorant, Sparrowhawk and Yellowhammer that were missed today.

A GREY HERON that flew over Ashes Lane first thing was the first species seen today that I added to yesterdays species list, the second addition to that list was a real bonus species though, I had reported yesterday about being 90% sure about seeing a Redstart at Migrant Alley, but it had been flushed off before I could 100% ID it, but today I refound the bird, and this time got good views, it was in fact a BLACK REDSTART (73,68) I even got some very dodgy photo's of it, what a fantastic find for my patch, it's just the fourth spring record here, in this, the 13th year of watching my patch and the 6th year that this species has been recorded, brilliant!
Black Redstart -These photo's wont win any awards!
But they are a couple of the most exciting images in my collection  :-)
The bird eventually was flushed off into the Wooded Headland by a combination of dog walkers and stable girls, so i headed off over to the Pub Field, which by now was going under the plough. It was here that I picked out the third bird species for the morning that wasn't recorded yesterday, a lone LAPWING, feeding with the flock of ROOKS and JACKDAWS, a few BLACK HEADED GULLS followed the plough for a short while, but soon retired to the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, joining the 40-50 that were already there.

Hopping over the fence to into the Ashes Lane Field, I again saw the LITTLE OWL pair, one in the old shack and one sitting in the nearby nest box, just as yesterday. A couple of MEADOW PIPITS and a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL went over as I crossed the field to get to the Scrubby Woods and Lakes.

On the main lake the CANADA GOOSE was nest sitting, and on the ornamental lake the MUTE SWAN pair continue nest building, with the COOT pair for company, the small lake joined the nesting theme when a GREY LAG GOOSE was seen on its nest there.
Coot. Still rubbish light for photo's, but I'm running out of  'Blog Brighteners'
Mute Swan
 I had a wander through the Scrubby Woods, hoping for my first Blackcap of the year, but they haven't arrived here yet, I got to hear or see all the regulars though, with TREECREEPER and MISTLETHRUSH being the 4th and fifth species added to yesterdays tally, the likes of BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST and CHIFFCHAFF all showed well.

I made my way through the Small Holding and back down Ashes Lane, via the Wet Woods, which was relatively quiet today, apart from drumming GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, squawking JAYS and a pair of MANDARIN DUCKS, the male of which I photographed, a grainy image, but a high ISO had to be used in the dimly lit woods.
Mandarin Duck
I ended up doing a bit of skywatching over at Migrant Alley, where I watched a trio of BUZZARDS soaring low over the Greenhouse Grounds, the hoped for early Swallow wasn't forthcoming though, and apart from a few more Meadow Pipits, the odd LINNET and PIED WAGTAIL, not much was seen in the sky.

As I left for home the female KESTREL was seen on a telephone pole along Ashes Lane, the sixth species seen today that wasn't on yesterdays list, thats 56 species recorded in two days, all very encouraging, making for another very enjoyable patch walk!


Alan Pavey said...

Nice one Warren, Black Redstart is a real rarity here!

Warren Baker said...

Its a real rarity here too!

Marc Heath said...

Patch GOLD Warren, well done and some nice shots too.

Warren Baker said...

Black gold Marc :-)

Phil said...

Well done Warren, a great species to find on your patch!