Thursday, 16 April 2015

I had an evening patch visit yesterday, just a quick walk around Migrant Alley as the weather was so warm and sunny, it was mostly quiet, but I did add LAPWING (68) to the April list when a pair flew over the sheep pasture.

This morning the cloud had started to roll in and a cool NE wind had picked up, making for a very different feel from yesterday, however, the birding was much more interesting  :-)

My early walk around Migrant Alley turned up another WHEATEAR, this one a female, also out on the sheep pasture there were 8 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS with 7 HERRING GULLS, plus a BLACK HEADED GULL flew over, all species that will be hard to find in a couple of weeks. The good fortune continued shortly after, when I watched a RED KITE (69) fly south over the Greenhouse Copse as I was admiring at the LITTLE OWL that roosts there, my 4th record of Red Kite already this year!

After checking on the KESTRELS at the Greenhouse Grounds, I decided on a visit to the lakes and Scrubby Woods rather than hang about Migrant Alley, on the way a BUZZARD flew low over the Ashes Lane Fields, and a SPARROWHAWK whizzed past me into the Wet Woods, four raptors for the day  ;-)

I am still hoping to add Cuckoo to the year list, they used to breed in the scrubby Woods, normally I would have heard one by now, but it looks like i'll only be recording them as a passage bird if at all this year  :-(  My spirits were quickly lifted however, when I had a scan around the main lake, first a MANDARIN DUCK was seen, a splendid male, then a pair of TUFTED DUCKS swam out of the tree overhang, a rare enough visitor here, but even rarer was a POCHARD (83,70) that swam with them, a cracking male bird, its not very often I get 4 different Duck species on the same day! The last Pochard I recorded on my patch was back in March 2011, so its a welcome addition indeed to this years patch list and takes the months list to the 70 mark. A GREY HERON sat and preened on an old dead tree at the small lake, while the ornamental lake was home to the MUTE SWAN pair a few MALLARDS and a MOORHEN or two.

Tufted Duck pair, they were distant, in not good light, but it's good to get a record shot of them as they are so infrequent on my patch!

Superb looking male Pochard with the female Tufty

This is about the best shot I got of it, just wish it was a bit closer, in better light  ;-)

A quick splash and washing session

After a quick preen, he had a brief altercation with the male Tufty, then all three birds flew off, a very pleasing find indeed  :-)


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hope it wasn't your cuckoo that was gunned down only 2 hours into Malta's hunting season. Mistaken for a turtle dove - don't suppose you get many of those anymore either - feckin numpties :-(



Warren Baker said...

Davyman, thats probably where it did end up!