Saturday, 2 April 2016

A perfect spring morning was had today, with sunshine, fairweather cloud and very little wind.

An initial 3 and a half hour patch visit brought some reward straight away this morning, when a pair of GREYLAG GEESE (51) flew over as I left my house, while my persistent early morning circuits of Migrant Alley have eventually brought me my first WHEATEAR (76,52) of the year,a cracking male bird, superb! Its arrival is a little earlier than the 15 year median average first date for my patch, that being the the 7th April.


Stunner! As always, these male spring Wheatears prove hard to approach, but I got some reasonable images.


As I took the above images, a couple of single MEADOW PIPITS (53) flew over, calling as they headed NW, also, flyovers from SISKIN, LESSER REDPOLL and YELLOWHAMMEER were had as I finished a circuit of the paddocks and sheep pasture. I noted the ROOKS were gathering food in their crops, they must have young to feed now.


Rooks gathering food for nestlings  :-)



A quick visit to the Scrubby Woods and lakes for a possible Willow Warbler wasn't successful, especially as the fisherman were back on the small lake, however, I did watch a party of 4 TREECREEPERS chasing about the bankside trees of the main lake, plus a pair of SPARROWHAWKS flew low over the scrubby Woods, the male calling constantly.

On my walk back across the Ashes Lane Fields I watched a SWALLOW chase a SKYLARK, the chase went on for a couple of minutes, i wonder what that was about!

Just before Midday, I had a second visit to Migrant Alley for a sky watch, noting the KESTREL pair at the Greenhouse Grounds as I passed en route, while my sky watch produced lots of BUZZARDS again, plus another Sparrowhawk and a couple of distant Swallows, plus another addition to the months list - a LITTLE EGRET (54) that flew low over heading N, this species has now been seen in each month of this year so far, unusual for my patch.

8 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

One Wheatear yesterday remains my migrant list so far and an early morning count on the reserve in pristine Spring weather today, produced a wildfowl and wader list that would of been quite normal for mid-winter.

Marc Heath said...

Stunning Wheatear Warren and nicely captured too showing off the lovely plumage.

Warren Baker said...

Derek,
I'll swap a Wheatear for any wader and most wildfowl species ! :-)

Warren Baker said...

Marc,
I wish I could have got 20 feet closer! but that's always the way aint it!

Pete Woodruff said...

Not just your first Wheatear, but much better than 'reasonable' shots of the bird Warren....Yeeeehaaaa!

Gravel Pit Birder said...

nice wheatear Warren.....just don't see them here at Whetsted....well, ive only ever come across 2 in one of the fields south of the pits on passage in the Autumn....

in the meantime....today, Sunday, Willow Warbler has arrived....huzzah....!!

Gravel Pit Birder said...

me again Warren.....Whetsted total is 71 I believe....

Warren Baker said...

Graham,

71 for the year, not overall I take it :-) !