Sunday, 11 May 2014

I made a full patch walk this morning, in some very windy and cool conditions, the leaden sky made it feel more like March than May, especially when the drizzle started up!

As was expected in the poor conditions, it was hard going finding the birds, with the days species tally being just 41, a very poor return for a May patch walk.

Highlights were few, but one of those was hearing the rattling song of the LESSER WHITETHROAT coming from the Greenhouse Grounds, where the male KESTREL was seen up hunting again. The only other summer birds seen in the first 90 minutes of my walk around the fields were the 3 COMMON WHITETHROATS, all of which sang, and a party of 9 passage SWIFTS.

I visited the western boundary of my patch before going on to the lakes and woods, a place I don't visit too much, as the habitat mainly consists of over manicured gardens and over mown and baron grass fields, but it is at least a place that Spotted Flycathers visit, making forays from the adjacent golf course, but despite a good look none were found today, however I did see my first MISTLETHRUSH youngsters, two were being fed by a parent on the grass verge of a drive.

The wind was roaring through the trees when I arrived at the woods and lake area, so hearing birdsong was very difficult, but I managed to hear a couple of CHIFFCHAFFFS and BLACKCAPS, as well as a GOLDCREST. Around the lake edges I came across the first LONG TAILED TIT young of the spring, both parents were feeding at least four newly fledged birds, this takes the 2014 ''successfully bred'' species list to 12  :-) A look over the lakes to see how the MUTE SWANS were faring was made, and they are still awaiting the hatching of their young, but the COOT pair had lost 2 of their 4 young already. Just a few MALLARD, MOORHEN, GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE made up what was on the water bodies today.

A poor weekend overall then, but the promise of a temporary improvement in the weather looks on the cards for the middle of next week and into the weekend, so I might just find a Spotted Flycatcher yet!

It brightened up later in the afternoon, but the wind was still strong and cool, and a look around the Ashes Lane Field for Dragons, Damsels and Butterflies proved futile. I did get to see a BUZZARD fly low over, and a GREEN WOODPECKER was on a fence post, both species that were missed earlier in the day!

The only photo's today come from my garden feeding station, always reliable :-)
Immature DUNNOCK
Up to seven of these JACKDAWS are visiting, there young will be out soon


Marc Heath said...

Didn't get out at all this weekend :( some nice sun forecast for midweek. Hopefully we can work that camera button then.

Pete Woodruff said...

We have at least two immature Blackbirds visiting our garden like the one in your excellent photograph Warren, lovely creatures.