Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The last patch visit of March was a continuation of the frustrating times encountered throughout most of this month, with a gale force wind blowing throughout the day, very little of note was seen or heard, there were however some decent sunny spells, especially later in the morning, when my attention turned to watching a couple of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies at the Greenhouse grounds, where I also found my first Green Veined White Butterfly.

Small Tortoiseshell, luckily it was on the ground, the only thing not blowing around in the gale!

While at the Greenhouse Grounds the KESTREL pair were seen, the female being perched on the edge of the nest box.

Early in the visit the sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley didn't give me any migrants, just 7 HERRING GULLS, 4 BLACK HEADED GULLS and 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were of note, I was glad to get over into the woods for some relief from the wind.

Not much could be heard above the roar of the wind and clattering of branches, only the song of a CHIFFCHAFF reached my ears, but I did get views of GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER and LONG TAILED TIT eventually.

A pair of MANDARIN DUCKS were visiting the main lake, along with some squabbling CANADA GEESE and GREYLAG GEESE, but other than those it was down to the usual four species of MUTE SWAN, COOT, MALLARD and MOORHEN.

I ended up back over on my seat at Migrant Alley, hoping for something nice to flyover, but it was just too windy, very little was seen apart from the Local BUZZARD pair.

 View North from my seat - empty skies  :-(

So with nothing added to the months list today, March ends on 65 species, the joint 7th lowest total out of 14 and 3 below the mean average total for the previous 5 March's, the likes of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll were notable absences, only once has March not had Siskin on the list, that was back in 2007. Scarcer species such as Snipe, Woodcock, Brambling, Goosander, or a visit from the Peregrine or my old mate the feral Barnacle Goose all could have been reasonably expected, but it was not to be! The 14 year average species count for March, of 64, was just surpassed and the 14 year combined March list was incremented by one, to 93, that addition being Great Black backed Gull.

The year list had 6 additions during March, those being, Mandarin Duck, Teal, Great Black Backed Gull, Red Kite, Red Legged Partridge and Chiffchaff, taking the year tally to 74, which is 35 behind my target of 109 species for 2015, that being the average tally for the previous 5 years.

Monday, 30 March 2015

The last full patch walk and penultimate patch visit for March was undertaken in improved weather, with sunny spells and variable cloud cover at times, although a strong chilly wind still blew.

My 6 hour visit came up with a very good tally of exactly 50 species, no new spring arrivals were on the list, so the March tally looks like it will be languishing down in joint 7th place out 14, that is unless something turns up tomorrow  :-)

The 50 species I did see included the 3 regular raptor species to be found on my patch, those being COMMON BUZZARD, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK, the LITTLE OWL was also seen at the Greenhouse Copse and another heard at the Small Holding.

The sheep pasture had 4 HERRING GULLS, 1 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and just 1 BLACK HEADED GULL this morning, I wonder if the main flock have now moved off to their breeding grounds? Also on the fields were 2 FIELDFARE, the only winter thrushes seen on my walk.

The wooded areas produced all that I expected, except for Nuthatch and Long Tailed Tit, the pick of those that were seen were the displaying GOLDCREST pair, the nest building TREECREEPER, plus singing CHIFFCHAFF and COAL TIT. The lakes were as they have been for a while now, just CANADA GEESE, GREYLAG GEESE, MUTE SWAN, MALLARD, COOT and MOORHEN were on the water, I wonder where my old friend the Barnacle Goose has gone ? Ive not seen him this month.  :-)

Noteworthy flyovers seen today were the light passage of MEADOW PIPITS, plus a couple of YELLOWHAMMERS, a couple of SKYLARKS, a CORMORANT and a GREY HERON.

Despite some reasonable light nothing came near for a photograph, so i have snapped a few of my common garden visitors to brighten the blog, nothing different is visiting there either!

Not seen out on my patch walk, but a pair of LONG TAILED TITS were in my garden, as was a NUTHATCH......52 species for the day  :-)


Sunday, 29 March 2015

I was out for less than an hour this morning, the rain and wind were unrelenting!

I was only out long enough for a circuit of Migrant Alley, hoping for that passage Wheatear to drop in, which it didn't! The 80 or so BLACK HEADED GULLS were sheltering on the sheep pasture, as were 4 COMMON GULLS. Overhead, 3 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS sped across the grey skies on the blustery wind, as did a couple of HERRING GULLS.

The only other birds of note seen on a really crappy day, were the KESTREL pair, the female of which sat sensibly in her nest box , while the male tried a spot of hunting around the Greenhouses.

Might as well use up the photo's left in my ''blog photo folder''  :-)



Saturday, 28 March 2015

It was dull and overcast today, with a strengthening westerly wind, spits and spots of rain fell early in the afternoon.

The end of March approaches and there is no sign yet of spring Migrants arriving here at Pittswood, apart from a few CHIFFCHAFFS, it seems that the weather is holding up the northward progress of many species. I had a two hour wander out early on this morning, plus another hour out around 11:00hrs, the latter visit was worth the effort as I saw my first GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL (74,65) of the year fly over Migrant Alley, a very nice species to add to my year list with only a couple of sightings at most recorded each year  :-)

The early part of my visit was as dull as the weather, I checked up on the KESTRELS at the Greenhouse Grounds, the female was in her nest box while the male hunted around the grounds, I also checked the LITTLE OWL roost at the Greenhouse Copse where just one bird was seen, another Little Owl was heard calling from the Small Holding as I passed through later.

Around 20 FIELDFARES and 4 REDWINGS were on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, an adjacent field of sheep pasture had the BLACK HEADED GULL flock feeding on it, not quite as many as in recent weeks, about 80 or so, but no other Gulls were with them, however I did see both LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULLS fly over.

A BUZZARD was heard calling and then seen as it flew from the Wet Woods on my approach, the Scrubby Woods had CHIFFCHAFF, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, BULLFINCH, STOCK DOVE, JAY, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and GREEN WOODPECKER all actively calling or singing, but the adjacent lakes had nothing of note today, just a pair each of CANADA GOOSE, GREYLAG GOOSE, MUTE SWAN, and COOT, plus the usual few MALLARDS and MOORHENS.

Only garden bird images for the blog today, taken earlier in the week..............

Ive got lots of Nuthatch images, but I cant resist taking even more!

Friday, 27 March 2015

A thin veil of cloud persisted for most of the early morning, preventing the full benefit of the sun to be had, but at least it was still, bright and dry  ;-)

I had a four hour wander through my patch, but found little to suggest the onwards progress of spring, as far as Butterflies and birds were concerned that is. There were a few winter visitors left though, with a light passage of MEADOW PIPITS heard and seen flying NW throughout my visit, plus 20 odd FIELDFARE flew over Migrant Alley, where the BLACK HEADED GULLS continue to feed, with them today were 4 COMMON GULL, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and 4 HERRING GULLS.

One of the LITTLE OWL pair was at it's usual roosting tree at the Greenhouse Copse and the adjacent Greenhouse Grounds had 4 LINNET moving around, plus the KESTREL pair were up hunting.

Little Owl at its usual roost

A quick look around the lakes and Woods produced little of note, a MANDARIN drake was in the Wet Woods, giving hope that they may breed here, plus a SPARROWHAWK sped through the Scrubby Woods causing much agitation form the regular tits and finches.

I was dismayed to see another 40m section of bramble hedge being slashed and burnt, more habitat gone, I really think it might be difficult to even get a breeding pair of Whitethroats this year, such is the lack of scrub here now  ;-(

I payed another visit to Migrant Alley mid morning, hoping to find a passage Wheatear, but the sheep pasture and paddocks were heavily disturbed again, so I just watched the sky for an hour or so, seeing GREY HERON, YELLOWHAMMER, BUZZARDS on every horizon, plus 3 of the local ones, and more of the Meadow Pipits, despondancy is creeping in again  :-(

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Rain for most of the morning prevented any patch visit of any great length, just a walk round Migrant Alley and a quick scan of the lakes was had.

Although no migrants had come in with the rain, there were 5 species of Gull at Migrant Alley, those being the 150+ BLACK HEADED GULLS, 5 HERRING GULLS, singles of COMMON GULL and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, plus best of all 3 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS.

The usual check of the Greenhouse Copse for the LITTLE OWL was had, just one was home today, similarly a check of the Greenhouse Grounds for the KESTREL pair was made, where the male only was seen. Two YELLOWHAMMERS flew over whilst I was there, plus a SPARROWHAWK flew through, fast and low.

My check of the lakes was disappointing, the only irregular visitor there today was a CORMORANT, one pair each of the more common visitors of GREYLAG GOOSE and CANADA GOOSE were also seen, other than that it was the usual quartet of MUTE SWAN, MALLARD, MOORHEN and COOT.

A CHIFFCHAFF was brave enough to sing from the Scrubby Woods, but little else did in the heavy drizzle  :-(

Late in the afternoon the sun put in an appearance, allowing me to grab at least a few garden bird images to brighten the blog up.

Here's the male GREENFINCH in it's spring colours  :-)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

There was a slight frost this morning, with variable cloud cover, giving some sunny spells from time to time.

I had a full patch walk today, once again finding an excellent array of species, 51 in all, but nothing new for the year of months list. There were a couple of nice species found though, with a pair of MEDITERRANEAN GULLS among the 100+ BLACK HEADED GULLS that continue to feed on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, also, amazingly, I had another sighting of a RED KITE over Migrant Alley, it may well be the same birds as seen on the last two patch walks, but who knows!

Around 60 FIELDFARES were still on the paddocks, with just one REDWING being seen with them, the LITTLE OWLS called from the Greenhouse Copse, but went unseen, plus the KESTREL pair were watched as they mated on the Greenhouse Rooves. The two local BUZZARDS were see on different occasions over my patch, but later, whilst sky watching I saw more single Buzzards, pairs, threes and groups of four on all horizons! The same sky watch produced sightings of flyover GREY HERON, MEADOW PIPIT, YELLOWHAMMER, SKYLARK, LINNET and PIED WAGTAIL of note.

All the regulars except the Nuthatch were recorded either in the Wet Woods or Scrubby Woods, the best of those being GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, CHIFFCHAFF, MISTLETHRUSH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, STOCK DOVE and JAY, whilst the lakes were good for the usual MUTE SWAN, COOT, MALLARD, MOORHEN, GREYLAG GOOSE and CANADA GOOSE, plus yet another Buzzard that looked over the main lake from the top of a tree    :-)

Despite carrying the camera around on my shoulder for the 6 hours, I never got a chance of photographing anything, but thats the way it goes sometimes  :-)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Three hours out this morning, in intermittent rain, plus another 2 out this afternoon, in showery rain, didn't add any further species to my March or year lists.

I found a few nice patch species though, with CORMORANT at the main lake, the TAWNY OWL, which hooted twice from the Scrubby Woods and a SPARROWHAWK that flew through the Wet Woods, none of these species were seen on yesterdays huge list, so that's 58 species in two days, i've only recorded 63 all month!

Once again I had the thrill of watching a RED KITE fly over Migrant Alley, on the same track as yesterdays bird, but was it the same individual? Other flyovers included a pair of GREY HERONS, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, 2 SKYLARKS, 2 MEADOW PIPITS and a YELLOWHAMMER.

The KESTREL pair at the Greenhouse Grounds and a pair of BUZZARDS soaring over the Wet Woods took todays raptor species tally to four, five if you count the LITTLE OWLS that were both seen in the Greenhouse Copse  :-)

Of the winter thrushes, just 4 REDWING were seen and 60+ FIELDFARE, these feeding on the bean fields adjacent to High House Lane.

The weather looks more reasonable tomorrow, so maybe i'll get my first passage migrant pass through Migrant Alley, a Wheatear would be nice!

Only a couple of images from yesterday to show.............

My first Red Admiral Butterfly of the year


Monday, 23 March 2015

Leaving the house this morning it looked like another cold and cloudy day ahead, but around 08:00hrs the cloud cleared, and at last some warm sunny spells could be enjoyed  :-)

I made a 6 hour full patch walk, in which a huge tally (for March) of 53 species was recorded, a very varied mix it was too, the only resident species that went unrecorded were Sparrowhawk, Treecreeper and Coal Tit.

The undoubted highlight of the visit was watching the first RED KITE (73, 64) of the year drift North over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley around 10:30hrs, putting up the 100 plus BLACK HEADED GULLS, 4 COMMON GULLS, 150+ STARLINGS, 50+ FIELDFARE, a few REDWING, the 100+ corvid flock and 100+ WOODPIGEON, this in itself was quite a spectacle  :-)

Whilst walking the fields during the early part of my walk, a few good flyovers were seen, with GREY HERON, YELLOWHAMMER, SKYLARK, and LINNET, as well as a continuous stream of MEADOW PIPITS going over in ones and two's, there was also a calling LAPWING, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and 4 HERRING GULLS noted. A REED BUNTING also flew by, alighting in the hedgerow along Ashes lane, but it didn't stay more than a minute.

The LITTLE OWL was seen in the Greenhouse Copse, and the KESTREL pair at the Greenhouse Grounds.

In the wooded parts of my patch GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, LONG TAILED TIT, STOCK DOVE, JAY, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS, BULLFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, GREENFINCH, CHIFFCHAFF, MISTLETHRUSH, plus all the more common regulars were found, also seen were a couple of COMMON BUZZARDS that flew from the Wet Woods.

Green Woodpecker.
With some decent light today I was able to get a few images, even if a bit distant !


On the lakes it was very much 'as you were' with single pairs of GREYLAG GOOSE, MUTE SWAN,  and COOT, plus 4 MALLARD, a few MOORHENS and 8 CANADA GEESE.

Greylag Goose

I made another visit in the afternoon, but by then then it was all bonfires and Lawn mowers, I did however find my first Red Admiral Butterfly of the year, i'll put a photo of that up tomorrow, as I doubt well get two sunny days in a row!

Late Edit:  Just had two TREECREEPERS in my garden, those and the COAL TIT, also seen in my garden, take the days species tally to 55, a massive total !

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A three hour patch walk this morning was initially undertaken in some quite bright conditions, but by 08:00hrs the default weather of the past week soon appeared, that being cloudy and cool with a chill wind.

There were more reminders of winter than of springs arrival today, with at least 150 FIELDFARE and 50 REDWING feeding out on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, with them were at least 350 STARLINGS, which looking from a distance resembled a dark stain across the green grass. In spring 2014 the last date for Fieldfare was the 23rd March and Redwing the 25th, I think they will stay later this year though. The 13 year median average last sighting date for Fieldfare is the 31st March, while the Redwing is the 30th March.The 200+ BLACK HEADED GULLS were also on an adjacent field of sheep pasture, with those I had the excitement of seeing the 2 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS again, plus 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS  :-) Whilst there, flyovers from at least 4 MEADOW PIPITS and 2 YELLOWHAMMERS were recorded.

The KESTREL pair were around their 'patch' at the Greenhouse Grounds, but I didn't see the Little Owls at the nearby Greenhouse Copse today.

A BUZZARD was very vocal as it displayed over the Wet Woods, at one point it was mobbed by a SPARROWHAWK! The Lakes held no surprises this morning, the visitors were 2 GREYLAG GEESE and 15 CANADA GEESE plus the 'White Goose'

Not a very inspiring visit, despite anticipation being high for a possible spring migrant, that wont happen until the weather pattern changes though  :-(  Still no photo's either!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

There was a short spell of brighter weather first thing this morning, but it lasted until only 08:00hrs, when cloud rolled in and showers fell.

First thing this morning, I walked a circuit of Migrant Alley, finding plenty out on the sheep pasture and paddocks, which for once were undisturbed. The BLACK HEADED GULL flock steadily built up to around 150 birds, with them were 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, overhead I watched 4 LAPWING slowly flap their way NW.  On a separate field, a large flock of birds consisted of at least 200 STARLING, 100 FIELDFARE and around a dozen REDWING, then on another field the flocks of 100+ ROOKS and 100+ WOODPIGEONS were seen. Flyovers from 2 GREYLAG GEESE, SKYLARK, MEADOW PIPIT and YELLOWHAMMER were also noted. A CHIFFCHAFF was heard singing from the Wooded Headland to the north of the fields.

The nearby Greenhouse Copse had just the one LITTLE OWL today, similarly the Greenhouse Grounds had just the one KESTREL, that being the female. As I was leaving a SPARROWHAWK whizzed over my head carrying its prey.

I next walked over to the lakes, initially all was as expected, with 8 CANADA GEESE, 2 GREYLAG GEESE, the White Goose, the MUTE SWAN and COOT pairs, plus a scattering of MALLARD and MOORHEN, but more careful scanning of the overhanging branches of the main lake provided me with intermittent views of the first TEAL (72, 63) of the year. This species used to be a scarce, but regular visitor here, mainly being found in the Wet Woods, but nowadays due to the doggy disturbance there, it is recorded just once or twice a year, mostly on the main lake.

Another Chiffchaff was seen in the Scrubby Woods, as was a NUTHATCH, plus singing was heard from GOLDCREST and COAL TIT.

The year list creeps along then, as does the March list, but this is still only the joint 8th best tally for March out of 14, the omission of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, which are normally regular March species is depressing the months tally somewhat.

Ive run out of photo's again! Desperate for some decent light  :-(

Friday, 20 March 2015

I missed a patch visit yesterday, due to not feeling too good with a chest infection, however this morning I felt a bit better and headed off out into yet another very grey, cold morning. There was meant to be a 95% eclipse of the sun around 09:30hrs, but I dont think it even registered as the morning was so dull anyway!!

I got round for a full patch walk eventually and found a good tally of 46 species, but nothing new was amongst them, there were some good numbers of birds about though, with Migrant Alley holding over 200 BLACK HEADED GULLS, among them were 2 HERRING GULLS, 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and a COMMON GULL, while on an adjacent field there was a mixed flock of winter thrushes and STARLINGS, hard to count them all but a conservative estimate of 500 wouldn't be too far out, FIELDFARE and REDWING were about equal in number, the STARLINGS tally was nearer 150, they were all flushed off anyway when the students arrived  :-(

The LITTLE OWL pair were in the Greenhouse Copse, where a pair of BUZZARDS were also sitting, over in the nearby Greenhouse Grounds just the male KESTREL was seen, but later in the visit the female was seen along Ashes Lane.

Nothing different on the lakes today, MUTE SWAN, COOT, MALLARD, MOORHEN, CANADA GOOSE, GREYLAG GOOSE and a CORMORANT were the species present, but it was nice to hear a CHIFFCHAFF singing from the bankside vegetation.

The woods were mostly quiet in the cold greyness, with the likes of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Nuthatch and Treecreeper all avoiding me and only singles of COAL TIT, BULLFINCH, and GOLDCREST were found, a couple of LONG TAILED TITS were seen collecting nest material.

Few flyover species were seen during the visit, the best of those being SKYLARK, YELLOWHAMMER and PIED WAGTAIL.

When I got home I happened to glance out at my feeders, then out into next doors garden, where I was most surprised to see a RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE ( 71,62) This is a species not recorded on my ''seen from the house'' list, and brings my sightings for said list to 95 for the 16 years Ive lived here, although I was a bit miffed at not getting onto my actual 'seen in the garden' list, after all I'm the one supplying the seed!!

No photo of the Red Legged partridge, but later in the day the sun came out, so I snapped some images from my garden the brighten the blog.

 Great Spotted Woodpecker - where was it during my earlier patch visit ? I also had a Nuthatch come in, so I must not have be looking hard enough this morning!



Long Tailed Tit


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

This morning was Grey, misty and damp, making it feel cold in the light Northerly wind. Brighter spells developed later in the morning, with some sunshine in the afternoon.

I undertook a full patch walk today, the five hour visit producing an excellent tally of 50 species, only Stock Dove, Mistlethrush and Nuthatch were absent out of the birds I could have expected to see.

It was good to find 3 singing CHIFFCHAFFS during the visit, 2 at the lakes and 1 at the Greenhouse Grounds. Another trio, this time of LITTLE OWLS was also found, with a pair in the Greenhouse Copse and a a single calling from the Small Holding, carrying on the trio theme 3 BUZZARDS were seen soaring above Migrant Alley, where the BLACK HEADED GULL flock had reached 150 plus birds, with them were 2 COMMON GULLS, 2 immature HERRING GULLS and a single MEDITERRANEAN GULL, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL flew low over, making five Gull species for the visit.

FIELDFARE and REDWING moved around and over my patch, but only a few Redwing dropped in, they went into to the Scrubby Woods, where I heard the TAWNY OWL hoot from its roost site. Another fruitless search for Redpoll and Siskin was had, but at least I got to see TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, JAY, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKER, as I searched.

The KESTREL pair were up hunting, as was a SPARROWHAWK, plus a few flyovers were noted, the best being MEADOW PIPIT, YELLOWHAMMER, SKYLARK, and PIED WAGTAIL.

 Mediterranean Gull at Migrant Alley

COOT on the ornamental Lake

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Overnight rain persisted into the early morning, making it miserable, but at around 09:00hrs it cleared, allowing me a later than normal patch walk.

I was eager to get over to the fields at Migrant Alley to see if the rain had grounded anything interesting, but no luck, just the 100+ BLACK HEADED GULLS with a couple of COMMON GULLS were of any note, shortly after I arrived the place was heavily disturbed again, so sadly I didn't hang about. I checked the Greenhouse Copse as I left, finding both the LITTLE OWL pair at roost, then walking through the Greenhouse Grounds I saw the KESTREL pair sitting together, better still, I happened to look up ( always a good thing at this time of year!) to see a LITTLE EGRET fly over  :-)

I headed over to the lakes, where the White Goose was with its CANADA GOOSE partner, another 23 Canada Geese were also present, as well as a GREYLAG GOOSE and a CORMORANT, but no other visitors had joined the resident MUTE SWANS, COOTS, MALLARDS and MOORHENS.

I took a few snaps of the White Goose, it maybe a feral farmyard thingy, but it looks nice!

The White Goose has paired up with this Canada Goose

I walked the Scrubby Woods and Wet Woods, in the hope of finding a Siskin or Redpoll for the March list, but there are just none about this year. I found a dozen or so REDWING, plus the usual LONG TAILED TITS, COAL TITS, GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, JAY and STOCK DOVE easily enough though.

I went back over to the fields and paddocks of Migrant Alley again, hoping it had quietened down, but there was still a bit of disturbance there, so I just watched the sky for a while, this wasn't too productive, but I did see YELLOWHAMMER, MEADOW PIPIT, LINNET, COMMON BUZZARD and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL go over.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Another very grey, damp and cool day, with just the odd brighter spell around midday made for a rather subdued patch visit, although there was at least slightly more to be seen than yesterday.

A flock of around 50 FIELDFARE was seen seen out on the bean crop at High House Lane, I could only count 9 REDWING with them though, plus a couple of SKYLARK. A walk around Migrant Alley found no migrants, but the regular BLACK HEADED GULL flock were there, the 80-100 of those being joined today by 2 COMMON GULLS plus a flock of mixed Corvids and 100 or so WOODPIGEON. The nearby Greenhouse Copse had a LITTLE OWL present today and a pair of BUZZARDS also flew out from it.The KESTREL pair were both at the Greenhouse Grounds today.

A 50 minute sky watch was had, producing GREY HERON, MEADOW PIPIT, YELLOWHAMMER, PIED WAGTAIL, HERRING GULL and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, plus two LINNETS that dropped in to the battered hedgerow.

Over in the Woods things were a bit quiet, no Chiffchaff, or Treecreeper, but LONG TAILED TITS, COAL TITS, GOLDCRESTS, NUTHATCH and BULLFINCHES were seen. The lakes were almost deserted, just a pair of CANADA GEESE prospecting a nest site, plus the pairs of MUTE SWAN and COOT, as well as half a dozen MALLARD and a few MOORHEN were found.

Hopefully spring will resume at some point this week!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The day flattered to deceive, with bright spells first thing after dawn turning into grey and dull ones before 08:00hrs, light rain fell from time to time and a cold wind blew, very miserable weather!

Unsurprisingly, in such conditions, little evidence of spring moving forward was found, the weather forcing many passerines into cover, but song from a brave few species was heard, mostly in the Scrubby Woods, which involved TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, SONGTHRUSH, ROBIN, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH and DUNNOCK. A NUTHATCH was heard calling and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drumming, but no Chiffchaffs today.

My early walk around Migrant Alley was pretty dire, just the BLACK HEADED GULL flock of 80-100 birds and a pair of CANADA GEESE were out on the sheep pasture, flyovers from CORMORANT, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, SKYLARK, YELLOWHAMMER  and a few small flocks of mixed REDWING and FIELDFARE were noted as I fruitlessly scanned the fields for a possible migrant Wheatear. The only Raptor seen today was a BUZZARD over the Wet Woods.

Photo's have run out again and with the weather looking grim again tomorrow it may take a while to re-fill the 'Blog Photo Folder'    :-(

Saturday, 14 March 2015

This morning was mostly grey and overcast, with a cold wind, which was especially noticeable out on the sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, where I started my walk, getting there early to avoid the lambing day event that will turn the place into a car park.

The BLACK HEADED GULLS had started to stream in, around 100 were present as I left, but little else was seen apart from the LITTLE OWL in the nearby Greenhouse Copse and a flyover BUZZARD.

It was a bit of a relief to get out of the cold wind and get into the woods, where most of the expected species were found, GOLDCREST, LONG TAILED TIT and TREECREEPER were seen in the Wet Woods, while the Scrubby Woods had GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, BULLFINCH, COAL TIT and NUTHATCH, more of note was the flock of at least 50 REDWING that were amongst the leaf litter.

Once again the lakes gave nothing exciting, 11 CANADA GEESE visited, bring the white farmyard goose with them, but apart from that it was down to the usual COOT pair, MUTE SWAN pair, MALLARD and MOORHENS to entertain.

On the way back from my short visit, I saw a pair of MISTLETHRUSH and a lone FIELDFARE in the Small Holding.....spring looks to be on hold, at least for this weekend!

Images are still coming courtesy of my garden, but even here it's down to the regular finches!



Chaffinch female


Greenfinch male