The first bird I heard this morning was a BLACKCAP, one seems to have set up territory around my house, this was followed quickly by the likes of WOODPIGEON, PHEASANT, WREN, GREAT TIT, MAGPIE, JACKDAW, DUNNOCK, BLUE TIT, ROBIN and BLACKBIRD all seen or heard as I walked along Ashes Lane to get to the Greenhouse Grounds. Here, I added GREEN WOODPECKER, SONGTHRUSH, GREENFINCH, LINNET, PIED WAGTAIL, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH, and COLLARED DOVE, in that order.
A circuit of Migrant Alley, around the sheep pasture and through the Wooded Headland was mainly quiet, a group of 9 HERRING GULLS sitting on one of the paddocks had 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS with them, ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and STARLINGS were on the sheep pasture and a CHIFFCHAFF sang from the Wooded Headland.
Making my way over to the lakes, via the Pub Field and Ashes lane Field, very little was added to the days list, it was great to see at least 4 SWALLOWS though, all singing as they zoomed about the fields :-)
Just before reaching the lakes I checked on the MISTLETHRUSH nest which sits in an Oak tree in a large garden, all was ok there still :-) On the lakes today just a few MALLARD and MOORHENS were on the water, yesterdays young from the latter weren't seen today though. The MUTE SWAN, GREYLAG GOOSE and CANADA GOOSE are all on nests, with their partners keeping a watchful eye, and I at last found where the COOTS have nested, so young could be imminent from them :-)
In the Scrubby Woods COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, JAY and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were the only additions to the days species tally. The Wet Woods provided me with MANDARIN DUCK, 2 pairs were seen, they too could have young very soon, NUTHATCH and STOCK DOVE were added to the growing day list too.
I headed back over to my seat at Migrant Alley, via the Small Holding and back down Ashes Lane, where I at last added HOUSE SPARROW to the list.
On reaching my sky watching Seat At Migrant Alley, I watched the sky for some 90 minutes, which turned out to be great for raptors, with 3 SPARROWHAWKS seen up together, 2 BUZZARDS, the local male KESTREL and best of all a female PEREGRINE (60) the last Peregrine seen here was back in February, so it good to see this one get on the April list. A GREYHERON flew over, a lone YELLOWHAMMER called as it flew past and at least 8 MEADOW PIPITS did likewise, a group of 4 birds and the rest singles, the most pleasing sighting on my sky watching vigil was seeing my first HOUSE MARTIN (79,61) of the year fly low over, very apt that it was the 50th species for the day :-) It was also the joint earliest first sighting for this species, 2009 provided my first House Martin on this date too, well earlier than the 12 year median average date, which is the 17 April. A bonus species was seen back home in the garden as I ate brunch, a pair of LONG TAILED TITS, 51 species for the day, a great tally, but where were the Bullfinch and Treecreepers this morning ? Little Owls haven't been seen since the 6th either.
I had a butterfly walk this afternoon, finding Small Tortoiseshells, Small White, Green Veined White, Peacock, Orange Tip and the first Brimstone of April, but few photo opportunies came my way :-
|Female Orange Tip, A male visited my garden, but I missed it!|