Monday, 24 March 2014

There was a sharp frost this morning under a clear blue sky, cloud rolled in gradually during my 4 and a half hour full patch walk though, and it felt cool in the wind.

I recorded a total of 46 species this morning, not bad for a late March visit, winter thrushes were not on that list, but a few MEADOW PIPITS are still passing through, they were mostly heard but unseen as I walked a circuit of Migrant Alley first thing, where the only birds of note were a gathering of Gulls, around 60 BLACK HEADED, 6 HERRING and 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were in the sheep pasture, in company with a few CARRION CROWS, ROOKS and JACKDAWS.
Black Headed gulls
 A GREY HERON flew low over as I made my way to the lakes and woods, and the LITTLE OWL was seen again as I passed the old shack at the Ashes lane Field. On the lakes the COOT pair were feeding on the water weed, and the MUTE SWANS were nesting! The first time this species has ever attempted to breed on my patch  :-)  The CANADA GOOSE is sitting tight on her nest, and two GREYLAG GEESE were also seen, along with a few MALLARDS and MOORHENS.
Canada Goose

CHIFFCHAFFS were the highlight of what was seen in the Scrubby Woods, at least 4 sang, a COAL TIT also gave some song, and a few BULLFINCH called, but there was no sign of Nuthatch or Goldcrest today, very strange not to see or hear the latter.

In the Wet Woods there were at least 6 MANDARIN ducks, they are difficult to count as they move through the branch and stick covered pools of water, a few JAYS were heard, as were a couple of singing TREECREEPERS, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS called and drummed, and another two Chiffchaff sang here.
Another visit to the Fields was made, where I saw the above Pheasant, I also had the opportunity to photograph the SKYLARK below, as it sat in the Ashes Lane Field, a bit distant, but a rare treat for me  :-)
Three BUZZARDS were seen soaring together over the Greenhouse Grounds, where the KESTREL pair were now up hunting, but not much more excitement was had than that for the rest of the visit.


Stephen Mills said...

Fantastic news with the Mute Swans, Warren.Wouldn't mind one on my patch but unfortunately they're never that common here.

Pete Woodruff said...

I like the Skylark pic very much Warren, a good opportunity and apparently rare treat for you.

Alan Pavey said...

Great stuff having the Mutes trying to breed waterbirds here are getting harder and harder to find!

Alan Pavey said...
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Warren Baker said...

Mute Swans were mainly only a flyover species until this year :-)

Warren Baker said...

Pete, with any luck the Skylarks may breed on my patch this year. I have informed the landowner of their presence and asked that the field not be cut until september at the earliest - we shall see!

Warren Baker said...

Water birds are not that regular here either :-)