Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunny at times, cloudy at times, with a moderate SW wind, that was the weather for todays patch visit, which had a bit of everything to interest me.

A very good total of 51 species was recorded, with the REED WARBLER heard singing at the Greenhouse Grounds being the most surprising one, that, along with a couple of COMMON WHITETHROAT, a BLACKCAP and a CHIFFCHAFF all chipping in with some song made for a pleasant summer sound. The LITTLE OWL was perched on the guttering of one of the greenhouses, and was mobbed, in turn, by PIED WAGTAIL, SONGTHRUSH and BLACKBIRD. The KESTREL pair were busy hunting in the surrounding grounds, the first of 3 Raptor species seen today, the others were BUZZARD and SPARROWHAWK.

A small gathering of Gulls out on the paddocks at Migrant Alley included 5 HERRING and 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, also, a GREYLAG GOOSE was in with the sheep.

Walking through the Wet Woods I again saw the MANDARIN DUCK with her family, but I also  added a new species to this years breeding list when I saw a grounded fledgling JAY, an adult was nearby, so I took a few very iffy looking photo's and left them to it, it was so dark in the woods I could barely get the camera to work, but I couldn't resist taking some sort of photo!
Fledgling Jay
Over at the lakes the MUTE SWAN and COOT pair are doing well, as are plenty of other species in the adjacent Scrubby Woods by the sound of it, all I could hear were the contact calls of fledgling birds, there were ROBINS, WRENS, DUNNOCKS, TREECREEPERS, BLUE TITS, COAL TITS, GREAT TITS and LONG TAILED TITS all chattering away and begging for food. NUTHATCH and BULLFINCH were also seen carrying food for as yet unfledged young.

On my home, I stopped off in the Ashes Lane Field to photograph a couple of mating Common Blue Butterflies, which proved frustrating in the wind and intermittent sunshine!
Common Blue
Common Blue

Around 12:30hrs I was joined by Marc heath, ( see his blog, with proper photographs here!) He was making a visit to my patch to try and find and hopefully photograph the Beautiful Demoiselles and White-legged Damselflies over at the scrubby Woods. We found not only those two species, but also found Blue Tailed, Common Blue, Azure Blue, and Large Red Damselflies, as well as Broad Bodied and Four Spotted Chaser, and the first Emperor Dragonfly for my patch this year. Whilst hunting dragons, a TURTLE DOVE was heard ''purring'' the first I have heard singing this year, and I also found a party of newly fledged GOLDCRESTS to add to the years ''successfully bred'' list, thats on 27 now  :-)

A walk over to the Wooded Headland to the north of Migrant Alley had us finding a couple more Beautiful demoiselles, and a possible immature Black tailed Skimmer, but that didn't hang around for a positive ID, would be a good dragon to get here!
Four Spotted Chaser
Four Spotted Chaser
Four Spotted Chaser
Four Spotted Chaser
Four Spotted Chaser
Male Emperor Dragonfly


Marc Heath said...

Many thanks again Warren for the tour today and finding the target dragonflies, much appreciated. Hopefully a shot or two to show for it later. Nice shots you achieved today, the Emperor come out alright.

Warren Baker said...

Considering how far we were from that Emperor, it didn't turn out too bad did it !

Noushka said...

You do very well in spite of the cloudy weather!
This male 4 spotted chaser is gorgeous, a young adult about to start looking for females!
You got a young jay, I got my first fox family on our property! I am so thrilled!
The weather is appalling how difficult to get decent shots with this lack of light! :(
By the way, if you are into dragonflies seriously maybe you would consider joining us (and Marc!) on our blog:
You can read the conditions to publish below the header.
It would be great! :)
Cheers, keep well Warren

Alan Pavey said...

Nice pics again Warren and looking at your other posts your bird list continues to grow quicker than mine.

I'm glad you had a good visit to Sissinghurst, I haven't managed a Downy shot of any sort yet and Green Hairstreak would be a patch tick for me, excellent find, was it above the main lake in the meadow?

Warren Baker said...

Yes, thats exactly where it was :-)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Noushka,
I look forward to seeing some of those fox photo's appearing on your blog! I hope this rubbish weather moves off for us both, as you say it just isn't good for camera work!