Thursday 2 April 2009

Thanks to all of you who commented on yesterdys stonechat, its nice to have an interesting bird to study. It certainly wasn't your ''run of the mill'' female stonechat! I'll take it anyway! A new year tick is always welcome, and especially as this Stonechat was my first ever spring record! They do occasionally turn up in autumn, but have only been recorded in 4 out the 8 years of recording.

Back to today, and the sun came out as I left work, (makes a change, it's normally the other way round!) and as I came through migrant alley, I saw that wooden fencing was being put around the fields, to prevent access to the forthcoming gas pipeline, so the work begins. )-:

After dinner I went over to find that migrant blackcap over at the lake area. Before getting there, I watched a Male SPARROWHAWK circling low over the woods, not a good omen! The 'scolding' GREAT TIT again had a go at me as I walked passed it's territory, and the same thing happened when I passed a COAL TIT, a hole was found that I think it may be using as a nest site. On getting to the lake, I scanned it briefly, but nothing was on it, only a pair of CANADA GEESE a MALLARD and two MOORHEN, so I went and sat by the scrubby orchard to have a listen. DUNNOCKS were the most numerous, followed by various Tit species, and a SISKIN was singing high up in an ash, nice to get that on the april list, then, the sound I had been waiting for, the sweet rushed melody of a BLACKCAP (83) was heard ! It didn't give it's all, but it sure sounded good, I knew he'd turn up at this spot eventually, and just 2 days later than the mean arrival date.

I made my way over to Migrant alley despite all the work and disruption going on, mainly just to see if I could access my ''seat'', which I could, so I sat and watched the sky for a while, all the fields were empty, as a nail gun was being used to put the new fence rails on, and a tractor was banging down the main posts. I kept scanning the hedgerow for yesterdays Stonechat but it was gone. I did see 3 more SWALLOWS though, 2 went N, and the other was hanging around feeding over the Greenhouses, it could well be one of the local breeders. The only other birds of note were a gang of 4 HERRING GULLS and a KESTREL.

Below is the 'Scolding' Great Tit
Next is a LONG TAILED TIT I found in the wet woods
Below is a rather tatty looking comma butterfly, catching some rays.

Below, in the foreground is a section of the fencing going up around migrant alley, doesn't look too hard to scale, it even gives more places for the 'chats' and wheatear to sit!!


Anonymous said...

Yours was 2 days late, mine was a day early. Well worth the wait though, i imagine.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Glad you got your Blackcap - at last .
Had one of your Great Tits impersonating a Nuthatch today .

ShySongbird said...

Well done on the Blackcap Warren you tracked it down well.
What beautiful photos!

lee said...

Hello Warren, I just read yesterdays report and i have to agree with Josh, when i saw the first photo i thought whats Warren talking about thats a Whinchat, then i see the second photo and see the confusion, My bets it a stonechat.Eastern birds have hint of buff white supercilium and paler ground colour.Well done on the BLACKCAP.

FAB said...

Blackap at last Warren. I know I'm a bit late reading the Whin/Stonechat story but I would definitely say Stonechat. Keep watching - you never know what is round the corner.

North West Birds said...

Congratulations on the blackcap!

Kelly said...

...congrats on the blackcap! I just looked him up and what a cute bird...and aptly that little black cap! Also, hope you've found the nesting cavity of the Coal Tit.

EP Andy said...

Hi Warren

Spring is coming, the Blackcaps are in song and our local Buzzards are carrying nesting material. I saw one today carrying some material towards a VERY likely nesting area.

Marcus Lawson said...

Hi Warren,
Definitely a Stonechat, it's a good example how on more distant shots certain features get "blown out" ie the white above the eye as well as the white on the wing look more prominent than they really are.

I hope the Red Kite which was seen near Hartlake late yesterday (2nd) comes your way.

All the best

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Well done for the blackcap!!! Looks like the summer bird are arriving and showing up, but unfortunately the weather did not realize yet that it was spring!!
Have a nice week end.

Simon said...

Some great photos Warren and pleased to hear you've got a Blackcap!