Monday, 14 March 2016

Most of this morning was grey and overcast, but the cloud slowly broke up in the moderate and cold easterly wind, leaving some sunny spells for the rest of the day.

Lambs enjoying the late morning sunshine

I carried out a full patch walk this morning and was pleasantly surprised with the excellent tally of 50 bird species recorded during the 4 hour walk. Three of those species were new for the March list, those being - a GREY HERON (59) that flew over the Greenhouse Grounds early in the walk, a PEREGRINE FALCON (60) that was circling quite low over the Small Holding area, where there was also a LITTLE OWL (61) heard calling, also noted there, were a dozen or so LESSER REDPOLL and the only REDWING of the day, the other winter thrush species, the FIELDFARE, was represent in good numbers at the Ashes Lane Fields again.

The MUTE SWAN pair, the COOT pair, 4 GREYLAG GEESE, 4 CANADA GEESE plus a few MALLARD and MOORHEN were on the lakes, while the Scrubby Woods and Wet Woods gave all that could be expected, the best being TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, SISKIN, MISTLETHRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, JAY, STOCK DOVE, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and GREEN WOODPECKER, I still await the first migrant Chiffchaff though!

Over at Migrant Alley, there were at least 250 BLACK HEADED GULLS feeding in with the sheep and lambs, a good scan through them revealed 2 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS, plus 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS.

A 40 minute sky watch looking over the area ( it was too cold in that wind for longer!) gave me sightings of the local BUZZARD and KESTREL pair, plus a few HERRING GULLS and the odd PIED WAGTAIL, but little else of note.

The three new species for the month moves the March tally to 62 now, but that still only puts it in joint tenth place out of 15, joint with the March tally recorded in 2005, just need a few migrants to pass through now  :-)

A few of the Black headed Gulls on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley

Black headed Gull fly past


Derek Faulkner said...

I think I've asked this before but how do you tell a migrant Chiffchaff from an over-wintering one?
I had one in my garden the other day and one on The Swale NNR 'safternoon while doing a WEBS count but I have no idea if they're migrants or not.

Warren Baker said...

I dont think you can! I just put my first date for Chiffchaff as the first to be heard singing in March :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

Ah I see, it's something that always puzzles me.

Gravel Pit Birder said...

I usually go by the singing date....if its around now then I usually decide its a migrant coming in....if before around now (which is the usual arrival date for them) then I would say its a bird that has spent the winter....

Warren...nice lamb pic....nearly Easter....on my plate....mmmmmmm.....I know, they are cute....but taste great....