Sunday, 8 March 2015

A grey sky greeted me this morning, just as was forecast, but within an hour of being out the cloud dispersed and the sun shone strongly - that, was not forecast!

I was keenly listening out for the song of the first patch Migrant Chiffchaff this morning, but alas, their arrival for me will be a little bit later yet. Other song was heard around the Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods though, including, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLETHRUSH, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, and COAL TIT, all those mixed in with the calls of STOCK DOVE, BULLFINCH, GOLDFINCH, BLUE TIT and GREAT TIT, plus the drumming of GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER made for a very springlike feel to things.

Checking the lakes, the only bird of note was a CORMORANT that fished on the main lake, although also visiting were 4 GREYLAG GEESE and 2 CANADA GEESE, which both incresed in number as more geese headed in from the local golf course, the main lake ended up with 13 Greylags and 11 Canada Geese.

As I left the lakes and passed back into the Wet Woods, I was pleased to see the years first MANDARIN DUCK (69,59) on one of the pools there, a single pair have bred there for the past 3 years, but they have normally already been recorded by now, I would be surprised if they breed this year with the number of dogs that use the woods as a play area though.

Other noteworthy bits seen today were the regular 3 raptor species of BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL, flyovers from 2 single MEADOW PIPITS, a YELLOWHAMMER, 2 PIED WAGTAILS and 4 FIELDFARE. There were no gulls on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley when I arrived, but being a Sunday they would have been flushed up well early in the day.

Not much for the camera today, as I left it indoors for the first part of the walk given the poor forecast! Only this STARLING was snapped  :-)


Marc Heath said...

That sun was most welcome today. More of that please.

Warren Baker said...

Yea, more sun less wind!

Fylde Amphibian & Reptile Group said...

Wonder which is worse for our wildlife cat predation or dog disturbance - I'd hazard a guess maybe the latter



Mike Gould said...

Nice couple of starling shots Warren.

Derek Faulkner said...


You are so wrong with that prediction, domestic moggies have legal protection to roam throughout their neighbourhood gardens killing anything they come across, few dogs have that luxury.

Warren Baker said...

I watched my neighbours dog shredding a young woodpigeon that had been blown from its nest last weekend, suppose it got there before the cat!

Predation isn't the driver of bird decline - habitat destruction and disturbance preventing breeding is much more a problem .

Derek Faulkner said...

There are always exceptions in all walks of life Warren but in general, cats allowed to roam unchecked through any number of gardens can kill far more birds than the odd one dropping into a garden into the path of a dog.
As for predation not being the problem, well explain that to a nature reserve warden who has watched a whole Little Tern colony wiped out bt predation by crows, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, kestrels - it happens regularly at Rye, as just one example.

Warren Baker said...

Looks like all the studies done by the BTO are not worth the paper they are written on Derek. I bow to your better judgement!

More seriously though, predation will only be a problem where humans are trying to save an already endangered species (endangered in the first place by humans!) on a few secure sites, in the wider world predation is not the driver of bird population declines.

Derek Faulkner said...

I probably read the same BTO literature as you Warren, just come to different conclusions. It has become obvious in the past that we have widely different views on how the countryside should be managed and that we are always gonna clash and so I guess we're better off leaving those arguements to our own type of blogs and those that support each other's views.