Monday, 20 April 2015

A slight frost this morning was a bit of a surprise, but it soon vanished under the morning sunshine and clear blue sky, still a nagging NE wind later in the morning though.

I had a full patch walk today, lasting 5 hours, then had a couple of hours out around the fields looking for butterflies later in the afternoon. I tallied up 49 bird species over the day, not too bad at all, bird numbers are low though, with very little song heard for this time of year.

The highlight of the day came as I was butterfly hunting in the afternoon, when a lone HOUSE MARTIN (85,72) flew over, the first of the year here, its arrival being 1 day later than the 14 year median average arrival date, but a full 10 days later than last year.

I recorded just about everything I could expect out there today, except for the normally reliable Little Owl at the Greenhouse Copse and maybe a Sparrowhawk. The other two regular raptors were seen though, the KESTREL pair were at the Greenhouse Grounds, the female flew into the nestbox there, while up above, soaring in the blue sky many sightings of BUZZARDS were had. A pair of SWALLOWS collected mud from the drainage ditch at the Greenhouse Grounds, one pair of 4 - 6 pairs that are breeding on my patch, and the WHITETHROAT was singing for a while from the boundary hedge, another one had arrived overnight and was singing in the hedge of the Pub Field.

Flyovers were few, but as well as the House Martin, SKYLARK, GREY HERON, YELLOWHAMMER, PIED WAGTAIL, LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULL were the more notable species.

Everything I could expect was found in the wooded parts of my patch, the only summer species being BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF, but all the regular residents were also picked up, the best being NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, JAY, STOCK DOVE, BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER and MISTLETHRUSH.

Nothing much on the lakes today, GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE continue to nest sit, as does the MALLARD, a few MOORHENS were seen and the MUTE SWANS dabbled about for food on the ornamental lake.

Butterflies seen today were few given the fine weather, they included singles of Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Orange Tip, plus Large and Small Whites.

Just about got a couple of images today, as the Whitethroat posed briefly for me  :-)


Marc Heath said...

A good session Warren, nice Whitethroat shots.

Ken. said...

Well done with the House Martin, it must have been a omen going back out that afternoon.
Pity the L/Owl or Sprawk didn't put in a appearence to put you over the 50 species.