Saturday 23 August 2008

The sun was out from the off today, and my recent purple patch of sightings carried on. The first half of my walk, as regular readers may know, is mainly wooded, the major habitats are the golf course hedgerow, the lake area, the wet woods and a small holding. At this time of year they take on a bit of a back seat to the second half of the walk, in which, I usually find passage migrants. I still do do the wooded part though, as I record species that dont occurr on the farmland, and always try to get a new high species count, for the day.
Today I did record my highest species count for a single visit. A total of 55 species were seen in a little over 4hrs. Amazingly it could have been higher, such species as Songthrush and Little Owl were not seen.
There were lots of highlights, the BARN OWL was at it's roost, a migrant WHEATEAR was at Migrant Alley, along with 2 YELLOW WAGTAILS - PIED and GREY WAGTAILS were also seen, the latter a new addition for the months list. Today was only the second time I have recorded all 3 Wagtail species in a single visit. Another good achievement, was the sighting of 5 species of raptor! SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, HOBBY, BUZZARD, and PEREGRINE. The Peregrine was another months first, it hasn't been seen since the 15th June. I actully witnessed it thumping a pigeon out of the sky! It struggled to fly off with it, and the weight of its prey pulled it down into the sports field at the college. I couldn't see it from my view point, but it must of been interrupted, as a few seconds later it was up again, less the pigeon. The spectacle wasn't over however, as then a Hobby came down and saw off the Peregrine!
Its going to be quite a downer when things on my patch return to normal!!

This looks to me like an old female, common darter. my ID skills on dragonflies are still in their infancy!

This Starling above, has almost lost its Juv. plumage, just a bit of brow left on the head.

Another Wheatear at Migrant Alley. I can't resist getting a pic. if at all possible

One of the two Yellow wagtails at Migrant Alley. They aren't particularly yellow at this time of year, especially the young ones. (but they do wag their tails!)

I was fortunate to get a snap of this Lesser Whitethroat. They don't usually hang around to long.

The pics, below show 3 of the 5 raptor species seen today. top is a Kestrel, middle is a Hobby and the bottom is the Peregrine.


Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Great photos yet again Warren. I'm very jealous about the Peregrine and pigeon, would love to of seen that!

Mike said...

great shots in todays post Warren, the Starling shot is a cracker.

Travis said...

Great Photo - Please stop by and check out my blog. Iowa Nature Photos will now be a photo blog with no caption or commentary. I do not have the time to dedicate to my blog that I have in the past but would still like to post photos. I hope that you will continue to support my blog in the future.

John Young said...

Hi Warren, great selection of photos and an exciting selection of raptors.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: Even your Starling are prettier then our black/purple irredesent ones That shot of the Kestrel is your best work.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Great list , especially raptors .
Great photos .
Wouldn't argue with your Darter ID ,as they get older , the positive ID gets harder .

Steve said...

Another great day Warren! Great stuff.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for all the kind comments guys.I'm certainly having a purple patch at the moment!

Simon said...

Sounds like you had a great day Warren!