Saturday, 31 May 2014

The weather today was the opposite of yesterday, it started off clear and sunny, but clouded over by mid afternoon.

Being the last day of May, I decided to do a full patch walk and try to squeeze out one more new species for the month, which in the end I failed to do, but in trying I amassed a huge day list of 56 bird species, that takes some doing on my patch!

I started off around the Greenhouse Grounds, where all the common regular species were found, with them were the summer migrants of CHIFFCHAFF, COMMON WHITETHROAT and BLACKCAP, plus a CUCKOO that called as it flew high over, the last i'll hear sing this year ? The LITTLE OWL was perched up on the guttering of the Greenhouses again.

Out on the paddocks and sheep pasture of Migrant Alley, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL was seen resting up, around it were the usual corvids of ROOK, CARRION CROW and JACKDAW, plus the ever present WOODPIGEONS. A male LINNET sat up in a hedgrow and allowed some photo's to be taken of it, while overhead a few SWIFTS wheeled around, and the SWALLOWS zipped over the sheep pasture.

Male Linnet

Male Linnet

Over in the Wet Woods there were 2 male MANDARIN DUCKS with the female and her young, a couple of TREECREEPERS sang, and the second family party of NUTHATCH'S were seen feeding. Over at the lakes a mix of geese had arrived, some with various aged young, there were GREYLAG GEESE, CANADA GEESE and the feral BARNACLE GOOSE had turned up too. The MUTE SWANS and COOTS were busy rearing their offspring, and a few MOORHEN and a couple of MALLARDS were also on the water.

All that could be expected was found in the Scrubby Woods, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, GREEN WOODPECKER, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, TURTLE DOVE, STOCK DOVE, JAY, and MISTLETHRUSH all got on the list today.

A mid afternoon skywatch produced a few HERRING GULLS, and also the 3 local Raptor species of KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and COMMON BUZZARD, but great excitement was had when not one but two RED KITES went over together! I've only ever had the odd single bird go over before, fantastic!

Despite no additions made to the months list today, May still ended up with a record tally for the 13 years, with 74 species being seen. Two of those species - The Tufted Duck and Ring necked parakeet have never been see in May before, these two species take the 13 year combined May list to 95

Whilst listening to the SKYLARK over the Ashes Lane Field, I picked up the whirr of wings, it was a Black tailed Skimmer, which was joined almost immediately by a second one, of course I got lots of images !

Black Tailed Skimmer - Immature

Black Tailed Skimmer - Immature



Marc Heath said...

Nice images Warren, those close ups come out well.

Warren Baker said...

I was lying on my stomach, just 6 inches from that Skimmer!

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Super skimmers Warren - I'd love to be able to see what they see if you see what I mean.