Friday 10 April 2009

The sun shone early this morning, and there wasn't a breath of wind, excellent weather for finding those spring migrants! I wasn't disappointed, the fourth bird on my list was a WILLOW WARBLER, it sang from the boundary of my house up in a silver birch tree, one of my favourite summer songsters.

In less than 15 mins, 18 more species were seen or heard, from the loud MISTLE THRUSH to the quiet GOLDCREST, the morning was really buzzing with song and calls. SKYLARK, MEADOW PIPIT, LINNET, PIED WAGTAIL, STOCK DOVE and another WHEATEAR, my fourth individual this spring, were all out on the plough at Migrant Alley. A CORMORANT and two GREYLAG GEESE flew over whilst I scanned the fields, as did the only Gull of the day - a HERRING GULL.

In the wet woods the calls of GREAT, COAL, and BLUE TITS rang out, the CHIFFCHAFFS, BLACKCAPS and SONGTHRUSH were all doing their bit in the scrub area adjacent the lake, while NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER were both seen around the lake vegetation. I sat and listened for a while, hoping for the Cuckoo, but it wasn't here, but it almost was!! I recieved a text from the Oxon Hoath Birder, that one was calling, less than 1km to the north of me, surley tomorrow will be my turn ? A second visit to Migrant Alley, for a 'sit and watch' hour was productive, four more Meadow Pipits dropped in, 3 SWALLOWS were buzzing around, and my first two HOUSE MARTINS (85) of the year appeared, back from the blue, my earliest ever, by 4 days.

Five of the ''certain to be seen'' Migrants have now arrived. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Swallow and House Martin, and two of the ''not so certain'' those being Wheatear and Sand martin.
With the year list on 85 now, and 7 more migrant species on the certain list, with another 4 on the not so certain, the 100 looks like it could be achieved for the second year running, providing those surprise migrants like Reed warbler and Redstart show up. I'm looking forward to the challenge!

Below are a couple of pics. of the Wheatear. Again migrant Alley provides me with the goodies.

Also at Migrant Alley this Pied wagtail.

Lastly, This Swallow was taking a well deseved rest after flying thousands of miles to visit me!


Greenie said...

Warren ,
I agree , the bird song this morning was wonderful . Everyone seemed to want to be heard . Didn't get your Cuckoo today . Great shots and well done with keeping the species counter moving .

lee said...

Superb photos Warren , love the Wheatear, i haven't seen one today but i did get about 20 housemartin, but still a very bad day as i also found a dead Barn owl, please read e mail.good luck with the Cuckoo.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
Glad you had a good day out today.That Cuckooo is getting closer to you. Nice wheatear shots. It's good to see that the House Martin's have arrived, have you ever had them nest on your house Warren?.
It looks like your on your way to a good tally for this year.

Warren Baker said...

I havn't had house martins on my house. They would be most welcome though!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Warren, you do get some good birds on your patch, such a good variety.

Kingsdowner said...

Great to see the migrants moving in en masse - and on a day off too!
First one lone house martin, then another, then a great twittering.

Kelly said...

18 species in less than 15 minutes blows my mind! When our warblers start arriving, we might be able to do that on the Little Miami Trail. I'll have to keep track. Glad you were able to listen to your Willow Warbler! I really like the Swallo profile pictures...very pretty.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a wheatear before. Its time to go birding on new continents.

Tricia Ryder said...

The sun shone? It does exist then? Lol

Its great at this time of the year with all the migrants coming in - got my first House Martins yesterday too.

Congrats on the Wheatear - good pic - only able to aim my camera at one once - and the battery died (and I'd forgotten the spare!!)

Phil and Mandy said...

Hi, I like the Wheatear pictures Warren.