Wednesday, 21 May 2014

I put in an 8 hour shift on my patch today, and was rewarded with a very good species tally of 53, but I couldn't find a Jay or Long Tailed Tit!

Early fog cleared by 06:15hrs, but returned again at 08:00hrs, finally clearing around 09:00hrs, leaving a mainly clouded sky with a few bright intervals. In between the early bouts of fog there was some sunshine, which was enjoyed as I searched the Greenhouse Grounds and it was here I found some interest when a REED WARBLER was heard singing from a dense bramble thicket, I eventually had some fleeting views of it - a rare treat for my patch  :-)  I also found two SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, they chased each other around and did some calling, but they were nowhere to be seen on a return visit here later in the morning. I checked the KESTREL box, the female was sitting preening not far from it, but I cant see into the box, I presume there are youngsters inside though.
Female Kestrel by the nest box
This LINNET was one of a pair, they had a nest site nearby
The SONGTHRUSH was belting out his song from the usual tree
Out on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley there were a flock of 38 GREYLAG GEESE, plus half a dozen SWALLOWS but little else of note. A LITTLE OWL was in the old shack at the Ashes Lane Field where the SKYLARKS continue to sing.

There was plenty of interest in the Scrubby Woods this morning, a few more BLUE and GREAT TIT  families have fledged, as well as another TREECREEPER family, they were joined by a NUTHATCH collecting food, and the first newly fledged COAL TITS of the year, they all fed together in a clump of Oak trees. CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP were rushing around carrying food for nestlings, and a pair of BULLFINCH were frequently visiting a dense scrubby patch, where they may well have nestlings, it seems like a really good spring here for the local breeding birds  :-) Whilst watching all this activity I heard the unmistakable call of a MEDITERRANEAN GULL (73) from above me, a scan of the sky proved my ears were not deceiving me, and it was seen flying high over, this is the 73rd species for the month, making it the joint best May tally, with still ten days to go, can I find another new species for this May ?

On the Lakes the MUTE SWANS and COOTS were tending their offspring, as were a newly arrived family of CANADA GEESE, nothing much else of note on the water though.
I caught up with the Albino squirrel again in the Wet Woods
Later in the morning and for part of this afternoon, I spent more time at the Greenhouse Grounds and sky watching from my seat at Migrant Alley. The Greenhouse Grounds again proved the place to be, as I found a newly fledged party of WRENS, five fledglings were being busily fed by both parents. My sky watch produced the likes of COMMON BUZZARD, a pair of displaying SPARROWHAWKS, half a dozen HOUSE MARTINS, a few solitary HERRING GULLS, a lone BLACK HEADED GULL and two LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, they took the Gull species count for today to 4, which is unprecedented for May!

I took lots of images of the Wren family, but the light was poor by now, and they were all scrabbling about under the shade of a tree amongst a wood pile, pity I couldn't get the shutter speed up a bit more!
Fledgling Wren pair
A sibling of the above
Another sibling
Adult Wren
These bring the 2014 ''Successfully bred'' species list for my patch to 23   :-)


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Good old Med Gull bringing up a joint record,shame it couldn't have been number 74.
Your cuddly wren shots are better than mine, hope to post them tomoz or Friday when back in civilisation



Marc Heath said...

I do like my Wrens, nice to see they have done well.

Warren Baker said...

I'll take a look at your ''cuddly'' wrens when you've posted Davyman

Chris Rohrer said...

That albino squirrel scares me! Nice wren set.....very cool birds! Along with the songthrush et al.:)

Marianne said...

I rather like the albino squirrel. But not as much as I like the last Wren chick - a perfect sphere of cuteness :) Eight hours well spent, I reckon. Look out for a passing Black Kite to beat your May record...!

Warren Baker said...

It is an odd looking thing, that squirrel!

Warren Baker said...

Black Kite, now that would be good!