Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A new month begins! April can be the most exciting of all months.......if i'm lucky, with a combined 12 year species tally of 107, there should be lots to find, or will this, the 13 year prove unlucky ?

The day couldn't of been better weather wise, after a misty start it was sunshine all the way, with light winds and tee shirt temperatures by 09:00hrs :-)
Early mist at Migrant Alley
As I left the house the regular species were noted along Ashes lane, BLACKBIRD, WOODPIGEON, JACKDAW, WREN, ROBIN, CHAFFINCH, CARRION CROW, DUNNOCK and GREENFINCH, but it wasn't quite as busy as I had expected. Crossing the Greenhouse Grounds I added GREEN WOODPECKER, PIED WAGTAIL and JAY to the months list, and a circuit of Migrant Alley added SKYLARK, BLACK HEADED GULL, MAGPIE, PHEASANT, CHIFFCHAFF, GREAT TIT, MISTLETHRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, HERRING GULL and ROOK, but no exciting migrants  :-(

On the Pub Field a couple of STOCK DOVES flew up and a HOUSE SPARROW chirped from an adjacent large garden, where BLUE TIT and GOLDCREST were both heard, a LESSER BLACK BACK GULL also flew over. Jumping over the fence into the Ashes Lane Field, both LITTLE OWLS were seen at the old shack, but nothing else was noted for the April list until I got to the lakes and Scrubby Woods.

On the water, MUTE SWAN and COOTS were soon found, the GREYLAG and CANADA GOOSE were on their respective nests and a few MALLARD and MOORHEN were also about. A COAL TIT sang from somewhere in the Scrubby Woods, where BULLFINCH, GOLDFINCH, LONG TAILED TIT, BLACKCAP, and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were also found.

I added the expected TREECREEPER when two were seen in the Wet Woods, but I was miffed about not finding the Mandarin Ducks that have been here for weeks! A couple of NUTHATCH'S were the only other addition from here.

The Small Holding gave me STARLING and COLLARED DOVE to add to the moths list at last, nothing much else to be seen there though.

I headed off back to do my end of walk sky watch at Migrant Alley, but a 90 minute sky scan only added 5 more species, they were SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD, of which 4 were soaring over the Greenhouses, MEADOW PIPIT singles went over calling, plus a flock of 15 distant silhouettes were probably Meadow Pipits as well. LINNETS joined the months list when a pair flew into the Greenhouse Grounds, and the last bird of the 4 and a half hour visit was a YELLOWHAMMER that flew south, on a trajectory that it usually get seen taking.Where were the Kestrels today I wonder ?

After brunch, I was out for another 3 hours, mostly around Migrant Alley, which became very disturbed so didn't produce anything much, although a COMMON GULL that touched down briefly in the sheep pasture was a good April record, and rounded the day up to a 50 species.

Not many photo opportunities came my way today, I saw COMMA, SMALL TORTOISESHELL, PEACOCK and SMALL WHITE butterflies, but none stopped long enough for a photograph.


Marc Heath said...

Nice start to the month Warren. Found 3 Heath Frit caterpillar today and saw my first Orange Tip. Butterflies everywhere this afternoon.

Warren Baker said...

I was looking all day for an Orange Tip here Marc!

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for the Wheatear Warren.

Just to reassure you the reply on Birds2blog is in jest!!

Enjoy the rest of the week mate.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Still very short on migrants , but the over-wintering butterflies are certainly making the most of this weather .

Seumus Eaves said...

Tee shirt weather Warren! I wish it was up here! Nice Skylark shots.