Sunday, 4 May 2014

Another cool, frosty start to the day, but a few sunny periods were also enjoyed throughout the 4 hour patch visit this morning.

It was good to hear a CUCKOO calling, one was heard over at the Scrubby Woods area as I walked round Migrant Alley first thing, the place was a  was a write off though, as one of the fields is being used as a caravan camping area over the bank holiday weekend.

There was a small amount of song emanating from the Greenhouse Grounds, singles of CHIFFCHAFF, WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, and SONGTHRUSH were heard there, as well as the more usual WRENS, ROBINS, DUNNOCKS, CHAFFINCHES and a couple of LINNETS all doing their bit. A HERRING GULL flew over, and a couple of the dozen or so PIED WAGTAILS that roost in the Greenhouses were ''set free'' as the automatic roof windows started to open.

The pair of SKYLARKS were seen again in the Ashes Lane Field, but no sign of the Little Owls in the old shack there, I still haven't had this species for the May list yet. In the Wet Woods, both NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER were heard, plus both the GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were seen, also a pair of JAYS were noted, I'm still trying to find their nest site!

I passed the MISTLETHRUSH nest site on the way to the lakes, it was definitely empty, and a scan of the large garden below for any fledged young was fruitless, although there were 4 adults!
Nothing new on the lakes was found, the adult COOT was alone, with no sign of a partner, its been a long while since I have seen both adults, and there are no signs of a family having been raised. The MUTE SWANS await the hatching of their eggs, and a few MALLARDS and MOORHENS dabbled about in the margins. GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE were in the adjacent paddock, along with the feral BARNACLE GOOSE.
Patrolling Mute Swan
In the nearby Scrubby Woods there was no sign of the Cuckoo heard calling earlier, but I thought I heard a short burst of Turtle Dove song, not conclusive enough though, the drone of a brushcutter in the distance didn't help! I most certainly heard the TAWNY OWL hooting again though, and the song of Blackcap, Chiffchaff, BLACKBIRD, GOLDCREST and COAL TIT was also heard, plus the call of BULLFINCH and STOCK DOVE.

I headed over to my seat overlooking Migrant Alley for an end of session skywatch, this Whitethroat was singing on the power cable as I crossed Ashes lane.
Common Whitethroat
Common Whitethroat
From my seat I could see the SWALLOWS were now out and about in the slowly warming morning, but only a COMMON BUZZARD was seen of any note during my 40 minute vigil, until that is, high up in the milky sky, my first SWIFT (87,57) of 2014 appeared, summer is truly here! They are later than normal this year, five days behind the previous 12 years median average arrival date, only two other years have had later arrival dates, my first year of recording in 2002, which only sporadic patch visits were possible, and last year, which was a very cold and late spring.
female Blackbird, seen as I walked home
Meanwhile back at my garden feeding station, the STARLINGS are busy feeding their offspring, and the first Dunnock fledgling was noted, the 8th species to have successfully fledged young this year  :-)


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

No swifts for me yet warren, they arrived in numbers in town today though.
Hope the Little owls and Mistle thrushes are OK



Warren Baker said...

Keep watching the skies Davyman!

Stephen Mills said...

Some nice shots again< Warren. Still no Swift here,mate.

Marc Heath said...

Swifts seem to be on the move at the moment. Nice to hear the Cuckoo today no doubt.

Warren Baker said...

No Swifts there Steve, Just garganey! :-)

Warren Baker said...

Marc, I wonder how many more springs the Cuckoo will appear for ?

Pete Woodruff said...

Still waiting for my first Swift, no young Starlings in our garden yet, but one - possibly two - well fledged young Blackbirds, but not seen them together yet if there are. Nd no birding since Friday and not until Tuesday....All a but negative I'm afraid Warren.