Tuesday, 15 April 2014

More Bluebells! These carpet the floor of the Wet Woods
The fine and settled weather continued today, allowing for another five hour patch visit, before I left home I noticed the first fledgling BLACKBIRD of the spring in my garden, one more species for the 2014 'successfully bred' list.

Cloud came and went whilst I was out, and a cool N wind blew at times, but it was reasonably warm. Early in the walk I saw 2 CORMORANT fly over, and a bit later a group of 7 flew past in a well disciplined equidistant line, all these after only seeing one in the first two weeks of the month!

The LITTLE OWL sat at its nest box by the old shack in the Ashes lane Field, where a pair of SKYLARK sang, one allowing for a distant photo.
The Wet Woods, Scrubby Woods and Lake areas, didn't provide me with any new migrant species, but most of the regular songsters were heard, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK and BLACKBIRD being the most vocal. I checked up on all the nests again, GREYLAG and CANADA GOOSE, COOT and MUTE SWAN were all still sitting, as was the MISTLETHRUSH. The male Mute Swan was getting very territorial, and attacked a newly arrived family of MALLARDS, the day old ducklings scattered and two adult males acted as a decoy, to distract the Swan, allowing mum to escort the young to some nearby reeds.

If that was a crow, or a fox attacking the young ducklings no doubt it would be used as a valid reason by the shooting brigade to ''control'' them, but would anyone shoot a Swan for killing ducklings ? At least the Crow and Fox have a family to feed, the Swan does it out of aggression!  All sorts of birds/animals prey on each other, they dont need some hero with a shotgun to interfere just for there own sporting amusement.

Mistlethrush on nest
I don't usually take photo's of bird on their nests, but this one is 4m up a large Oak tree and I was well away from it. As you can see it is reasonably well concealed considering the small amount of cover it has available, it's still vulnerable to a predator though, but if it's predated the Mistlethrush learns a lesson for next year.
GREEN WOODPECKER on the floor of the Scrubby Woods
A second visit to the fields of Migrant Alley, in some warm sunshine, had me watching the sky for raptor species, I saw the male KESTREL, the 2 local BUZZARDS and a few distant ones, plus a SPARROWHAWK. The best sighting of the day however was of my first YELLOW WAGTAIL (65,82) of the year flying low over the sheep pasture, calling as it went. It's arrival is the the joint earliest arrival date for my patch, joint with 2011, and is ten days earlier than the 13 year median average arrival date. It looks like the great majority of the SWALLOWS have now arrived, at least 5 pairs were feeding over the paddocks and sheep pasture.

Here's a few more Dunnock images, they really belt out their little, thin, warbler like song!


Derek Faulkner said...

Warren, why do you always throw your ire at the shooting brigade over these matters, yet ignoring the fact that many, many nature reserves now employ crow and magpie traps and shoot foxes as standard management practise these days, including the RSPB, (I presume that you support the RSPB and therefore what they do). It's a fact of life in proper conservation management these days and can't be ignored to always blame shooting types

Marc Heath said...

Nice Dunnock shots Warren, a nice background on these setting the bird off well.

Warren Baker said...

'' Shooting types'' shoot for fun and enjoyment, its a far cry from what the conservationists have to do to protect vulnerable species on their reserves.

I have no respect for those who seek pleasure and past time in killing things.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Marc,
It's not often you get a chance to set the background on an off the cuff shot, but this Dunnock was an obliging bird :-)

Stephen Mills said...

Beautiful Dunnock shots,Warren.Nice one with the Yellow Wagtail. Usually only Autumn records for me.