The early part of my walk around the fields was a waste of effort really, as the fog was so dense, the only notable species seen were the SKYLARK pair and a couple of MEADOW PIPITS in the Ashes Lane Field. The latter species are the last of the winter visitors here, they will soon finish moving through, the 12 year, median average last sighting date for Meadow Pipit is the 19th April.
I was in the Scrubby Woods as the sun finally broke through, which immediately had an effect on the birds, which started to sing, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, and CHAFFINCH were the most obvious, the wall of sound all threaded together with the calls of BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, STOCK DOVE, BULLFINCH, and GREEN WOODPECKER, plus the reverberating sound of the drumming GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER.
I could now see across the lakes, where a male MANDARIN DUCK, was seen, 2 pairs of MALLARDS were also there, as were the family of MOORHENS that were seen on the 9th. The MUTE SWAN, GREYLAG GOOSE, CANADA GOOSE and COOT all sat tight on their nests, but no other waterfowl were seen.
I made my way back out to the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley, checking up on the MISTLETHRUSH on her nest as I passed, and watched the pair of white Squirrels in the wet woods for a while, hearing the NUTHATCH and TREECREEPERS calling as I did so.
A thin cloud blotted out most of the sunshine as I arrived at the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley, where little was seen as I checked the bushes and brambles for a the possible arrival of a Whitethroat.
I headed off home for brunch, then returned an hour later to my seat at Migrant Alley for a sky watching session. This proved quite good, for as well as watching the local SWALLOWS, I also saw a pair of SPARROWHAWKS, the two local BUZZARDS ( with at least four more seen on the distant horizon) and the male KESTREL which flew in to perch on the greenhouse roof. I then picked out three pointy winged long tailed birds, which I initially, and perhaps wishfully, thought were Cuckoo's but as they drew nearer I could see they were RING NECKED PARAKEETS (80,62) - oh well, not the species I was hoping to find, but it increments the year list by one, just 30 species behind last years tally now, and 17 species behind last Aprils tally, which with the lack of long staying winter visitors is unlikely to be reached this year.
I got a couple of Butterfly images while the sun weakly shone, nice to get the Speckled wood on the camera for the first time this year :-)
|Green Veined White|