Thursday, 24 September 2009

Today was a day stolen from summer, warm, blue skyed, and little wind. It was briefly a little chilly as I left for work this morning, but it soon warmed up. The only thing of note on my walk in was one of the PEREGRINES on the village Tower, but thats off my patch.

I walked home from work across Migrant Alley, and once again, in the harrowed maize stubbles, I found a WHEATEAR, this one was different from all the others I had seen this Autumn, as it was an adult male, much more colourful and srtikingly marked, all the other Wheatears have been Immature/female types.

After something to eat I returned to the Maize to try and get a photo of the adult Wheatear, as I scanned the field I found not a Wheatear, but a LAPWING, well thats one more for the September list! A little more scanning and I found a Wheatear, but this one wasn't the adult male, that meant two of them, I almost immediatley found the adult bird a way off, and as I walked the fence line to get closer, two more Wheatears flew up and onto the fence, now there were four! Thats the second party of four this month, a great record.

I spent the afternoon watching the coming and going of the Wheatears, and whilst doing so also saw 2 SKYLARKS, and the LINNET flock, which seems to be getting bigger by the day, there were at least 40. MEADOW PIPITS put in an appearance, as did a few PIED WAGTAILS.

Overhead a SPARROWHAWK came over breifly, before being seen of by the JACKDAWS, and the local SWALLOWS were feeding, at times joined by small groups of HOUSE MARTINS, but nowhere near the numbers of yesterday. The only other summer bird seen was a CHIFFCHAFF in the scrub at the headland.

Above Lapwing No. 78 !
Above is one of the Linnets.

Above and below are 'usual' type Wheatears

Above the Male (right) with another Immature/female type

Above is the adult Male, I couldn't get very close to him, but you can see the striking plumage difference

Below is the Male bird in the harrowed maize, you can see how hard I have to scan to find these camouflaged migrants! can you see it ?


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Hope you don't mind , I've used your opening line on mine , I thought it was perfect .
Well done with No.78 .
Really hard to see the male Wheatear in the last shot , great camouflage .

Stewart said...

Looks like a good Greenland there Warren...

Warren Baker said...

I did wonder Stewart......but wasn't confident enough.

Kelly said...

Hi Warren...I can definitely see how the male is much more striking. In the photo of the male and juvenile on the fence, the males black eye mask pops right out. Well...I had to enlarge the photo, but I spotted him smack dab in the middle. He is a camouflage master...good eye!
8 years of documenting your patch! That is quite amazing. I'm glad you were able to add another species to bring the total to 78. You have a quite a record now (you'll have to work really hard next year, and hopefully Mother Nature cooperates beat it!)

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Well done on number 78. You know one day you have to stop counting, you will never be able to reach this number next year. I love your wheatear shots, especially the last one ;-) Yeh true, it shows how good you are to find them!

Warren Baker said...

Kelly & Chris,
This september is a one off! I don't think it wiil be surpassed for number of species seen, even if I watch my patch for another ten years!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Continuing to enjoy your walks to work and other birding times with you Warren, makes for good enjoyable reading. I think you'll have more Wheatears to come yet.

Keep up the good work.

Phil and Mandy said...

Well done again Warren , 78, what a record that is. Graet Photos by the way.

Anonymous said...

That's an inspiration finding all those different birds Warren - great stuff. Nice to see the Wheatears are about.

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Good stuff, Warren. 7 days left to break the 80 mark.

Tricia Ryder said...

I'm always amazed at the number of species you find on your patch Warren. Great to have the Wheatears and hopefully you'll add to the numbers of them!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

When you get to 80 I'm gonna crack open a nice bottle of beer and celebrate with you!
You know it's possible 6 days 2 on!


ShySongbird said...

The Wheatears really are lovely little birds and it was nice to see the adult male. You did very well to spot the one in the harrowed maize field! Congrats on the Lapwing, that is some total!!