Friday, 2 May 2014

I was greeted this morning by a cold northerly wind and grey skies, nothing like what a May morning should be like!

I made the first full patch walk of May, which took me just over four hours and recorded a good tally of species, 47 in all, 17 of those were additions to to the May list, taking it up to 51, not bad for the first two days of the month  :-)

Starting off at the Greenhouse Grounds, where the male KESTREL sat dozing on a raspberry support pole, I then walked a circuit of Migrant Alley, scanning the sheep pasture and paddocks there, as well as checking the Wooded Headland and the Greenhouse Copse. I added SPARROWHAWK (35) and PHEASANT (36) to the May list, as I went, but a couple of COMMON WHITETHROAT, a BLACKCAP, and a couple of CHIFFCHAFF were the only summer species seen, the SWALLOWS were sensibly waiting for it to warm up a bit before venturing out, which they did around 09:30hrs. A small party of LINNETS were feeding on the paddocks and three single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and the first two HERRING GULLS (37) of the month were also noted flying over.

Over in the Wet Woods, NUTHATCH (38), TREECREEPER (39) and a pair of MANDARIN DUCKS (40) all joined the May list, as did the MISTLETHRUSH (41) which was seen by its nest site, no young were seen today, maybe they have fledged, I'll have to keep an eye out for them.

On the lakes today I was pleased to meet up again with ''Barny'' the feral BARNACLE GOOSE (42) always a welcome addition to my monthly tallies, shame it wasn't here last month! The MUTE SWAN (43) pair, COOT (44), MOORHENS (45) MALLARDS (46) and CANADA GEESE (47) brought a surge to the May list, which was incremented further when the TAWNY OWL (48) was heard to call from the Scrubby Woods, but the hope for the arrival of the Turtle Dove or Garden Warbler was not realised. I heard the GOLDCREST (49) sing and the BULLFINCH (50) that called brought up the 50th species for May, but I didn't add a Coal Tit to the months list.

As I walked home through the Small Holding, a CORMORANT (51) flew high over, heading north, which was the final addition to the May list made today, not a bad visit despite the unseasonably cool weather.

I was eager to get out a try my new camera and lens combo today, but the light was just awful, however, for a few minutes later in the morning, it got a little brighter, not really enough for photography, but enough for a few test images, mainly of the newly fledged STARLINGS that are scoffing the fat I provide for them!
Newly Fledged Starling
I like their Blue eyes  :-)
The shutter speeds were too slow to catch the all feeding action
I got a few half decent feeding shots though
This DUNNOCK sat still enough for long enough  :-)
As did this Nuthatch, I can't resist taking an image of these!
This Juvenile BLACKBIRD was one of two that are also feeding on the fat.


Marc Heath said...

Sounds like a good outing today, unfortunately no birthday birding for me today. Maybe the gods will shine through tomorrow!!!

Warren Baker said...

Looks like a bit a sun for tomorrow, still cool for the time of year though.