Tuesday, 8 April 2014

After yesterdays washout, I was looking forward to todays full patch walk, when thankfully the weather was much better, some good sunny spells were enjoyed, although a cool wind moderated the temperature.

I was out for most of the day, 8 and a half hours in all, and racked up a really good tally of 51 species, 52 including the SISKIN that was seen at my garden feeders as I had brunch. All of the regular birds turned out today, ROOKS, CARRION CROWS, MAGPIES, JACKDAWS, a couple of SKYLARKS, and flyovers from GREY HERON, YELLOWHAMMER and MEADOW PIPIT as well as a COMMON GULL, unusual for April, were all recorded as I walked the sheep pasture, paddocks and fields early in my walk.

The Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods were much more active than the couple of recent poor visits, with JAY, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, and STOCK DOVE all performing well. The lakes were home to the nesting CANADA and GREYLAG GEESE, as well as the nesting MUTE SWANS, the COOT pair are still about, but only one MALLARD and 2 MOORHEN were seen, as I left, a pair of MANDARIN DUCK flew over.

I checked the MISTLETHRUSH nest, that is in a large garden adjacent to the Wet Woods, and was pleased to see the female sitting tight, despite all yesterdays rain!

Back over at the Greenhouse Grounds it was a case of WRENS, DUNNOCKS, ROBINS, a couple of LINNETS, 4 PIED WAGTAILS, a SONGTHRUSH pair and a few pairs of BLACKBIRDS, one female of which was particularly obliging for the camera, allowing me to take a photo of her with my macro lens at less than a meter away :-)
Female Blackbird
I ended the session before brunch with an hours skywatch, where up to 6 BUZZARDS were seen, as well as a SPARROWHAWK and a few HERRING GULLS, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL was also seen, but no Black Headed Gulls today, or a Kestrel. At just before midday, I got up from my seat to head home for some food, and giving the sky one last scan found what I was looking for.........my first SWALLOW (77,58) of the spring, a cracking male, fantastic! This years first sighting is a whole week later than the 13 year median average first sighting for my patch, and is the 5th latest arrival date.

After brunch, I spent my time chasing butterflies, I found my first GREEN VEINED WHITE, as well as my first SPECKLED WOOD, and also found a couple each of COMMA, PEACOCK, ORANGE TIP, SMALL TORTOISESHELL, and SMALL WHITE.
Green Veined White
Green Veined White
Female Orange Tip
Orange Tip

Bluebells are carpeting the floor of the Wet Woods, a month earlier than last year


Marc Heath said...

As I predicted you got that Swallow today, not sure about tomorrow. I will stick my neck out and say a singing Willow Warbler.

Warren Baker said...

Willow Warblers are scarce birds here :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Snap with the first Swallow , but you're well in front with butterfly species . Perhaps I'm spending too much 'Adder time' .