Monday, 12 May 2014

The weather improved somewhat today, with the wind dropping a touch and just a few showers around to dodge.

The birding improved as well this morning, my walk round Migrant Alley first thing provided me with my first BLACK HEADED GULL (63) of the month, not a common bird here in May  :-) A GREY HERON and a LAPWING were also seen going over, along with a few HERRING GULLS and a couple of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS. The SWALLOWS were feeding around the sheep pasture, and small parties of SWIFTS moved through, the start of a day long passage that I observed today. COMMON WHITETHROATS sang from the Greenhouse Grounds and the Ashes Lane Field, four birds are now holding territory in all.

The mornings patch visit got better still, when another look around the western boundary of my patch, had me finding, against all my hopes, my first SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (88,64) of the year, I even got a couple of record shots as it sang from the top of a tree  :-) Its arrival is right on que, with the 13 year median average arrival date being today, the 12th May.
Fantastic little Spotted Flycatcher
Pity it was so high up in the tree though  :-)
I moved on to the Lakes and Woods, where almost everything I could expect was recorded, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST and LONG TAILED TIT all turned out, along with the BLACKCAPS and CHIFCHAFFS only the Treecreeper went unrecorded today. The TAWNY OWL called from the Scrubby Woods again, and a another COOT had turned up on the Small Lake, the pair on the Ornamental lake were still feeding their two remaining young. I spent an hour or so chasing the Beautiful Demoiselles and got a few images.
Beautiful Demoiselle
Around 15:00hrs I had an afternoon sky watching session from my seat at Migrant Alley, which turned out to be very productive!  Six Raptor species were seen, those being KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK, COMMON BUZZARD, and a superb RED KITE (65), which was new for the May list, also a PEREGRINE (66) was seen as it flew up to investigate the Kite, also the first seen this month. Another species for the May list was a HOBBY (67), one flew over and headed NW. I probably had seven Raptor species, as I was 90% sure of the identity of an Osprey that was being mobbed by a Buzzard, it was way in the distance and certainly off patch, now that would of put the cherry on the icing of the cake had that of come nearer! I did however have another nice surprise as I walked home, my first SAND MARTIN (89,68) of the year was seen flying low over the Greenhouses! What a brilliant couple of hours they were, a massive 56 species were seen today, sure made up for the poor weekend visits  ;-) That little lot makes better reading for the May species list, which at 68 moves from the second worse, to the joint 6th best, joint with 2008. The year list moves on to 89, but it is still lagging behind most years at this stage, so not much chance of beating the fastest 100 species recorded, that was set in 2010, when May 17th brought up the 100.


Wilma said...

Well, Warren, now you are just showing off with those incredible damsel closeups. What a beauty!

enviously yours,

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Glad to see your Sp.Fly is back , hope they are successful breeders again this year .

Warren Baker said...

They are one of my favorite Damsels :-)