Saturday, 26 April 2014

With rain falling and a blustery wind blowing this morning, I decided to have a rare lie in, waiting until 09:30hrs until getting out, when the rain had stopped and a few short lived bright intervals were had.

I didn't venture far when I did get out, or for long, just walking a circuit of the sheep pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley, plus a quick look at the Wooded Headland and the Greenhouse Grounds, finishing up with a 90 minute skywatch.

After the rain I had hoped for something interesting to turn up in the sheep pasture and paddocks, but no luck today, just the ROOKS, CARRION CROWS, JACKDAWS, WOODPIGEONS, were seen, plus the small flock of a dozen or so LINNETS and a GREEN WOODPECKER. A BLACKCAP and a CHIFFCHAFF sang from the Wooded Headland, but no sign of the Lesser Whitethroat today. The Greenhouse Grounds had the Blackcap and Chiffchaff also, but the two Common Whithroats seen here yesterday weren't seen. Plenty of WRENS, DUNNOCKS, BLACKBIRDS, and CHAFFINCHES were also seen, along with a few PIED WAGTAILS and a SONGTHRUSH carrying food back to a well concealed nest.

My sky watch proved a bit more interesting, with a few HERRING GULLS, 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and a CORMORANT all being seen. A LAPWING was a bit more of a surprise, and a pair of HOUSE MARTINS were only the 3rd record for this spring. The highlight of my 90 minute vigil was seeing the first HOBBY (86,72) of the year flying through, making it a four raptor species day, with the local KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and 3 BUZZARDS also being seen. The Hobby sighting was a relatively early arrival, the 12 year median average first sighting date on my patch is the 3rd May.

Around 14:30 hours, I had another hour out sky watching, but little was found, except the brilliant sighting of a superb male YELLOW WAGTAIL, seen as it dropped down into the sheep pasture  :-)

In between my two patch visits I spent some time in the garden, where surprisingly, given the cool wet conditions I found another Large Red Damselfly, which allowed some images to be taken, shame about the poor light though.
Large Red Damselfly
Lastly, those of you who read my blog regularly will maybe remember that last month I had a ringed Lesser Redpoll frequenting my garden feeders, well I sent off the ring number to the BTO and this morning I got a reply as follows..................

The Lesser Redpoll was ringed on the 13 November 2013 at Sandwich Bay and was at least a year old then. From there, 121 days later, it found its way to my garden which lies76km to the west, I wonder where it is now ?
Ringed Lesser Redpoll


Marc Heath said...

Not a bad selection considering todays weather. See you are trying to master the face on shot, its a hard task but it keeps us all trying.

Warren Baker said...

Trying is the word! With the gusty wind and poor light it was very trying indeed!!

Wilma said...

Very striking shots of the damsel.

Jason K said...

Cracking Damsel close ups mate!

Pete Woodruff said...

With gusty winds and poor light taken into account, some excellent macro work on the LRD here.

I had one of those 'why am I doing this' days on Friday when I got caught in the middle of nowhere in an April shower which lasted more than an hour and 3 miles yet to walk.

Keep on keeping on Warren.