Friday 16 April 2010

Still no change in the weather, the morning starts grey, cold and windy, but as the day goes on the cloud breaks, and some sunny spells are had, but the wind is still cold!

Just about all the common resident species showed on todays patch walk, with the 3 migrant species that have arrived, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and SWALLOW also very evident now, but I await any more new arrivals. The Cuckoo is now 2 days past its mean arrival date, the latest arrival date for this species on my patch is 18th Apr. back in 2002.

I had one bit of success, whilst over at the lakeside scrub listening and failing to hear the call of the Cuckoo, or song of a Common or Lesser Whitethroat, a TAWNY OWL (64) hooted! Not quite what I had in mind, but nice to add it to the months list anyway.

In the 4 hours I was out I recorded 46 species, and as I mentioned all of the resident species turned out including the less commonly seen species such as COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST and YELLOWHAMMER. Flyovers by GREYLAG GOOSE, SPARROWHAWK, BLACKHEADED, and HERRING GULL all helped the list along, and the LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS at Migrant Alley are still patroling the paddocks!

I went out around 14:30 to do some skywatching over on my usual seat at Migrant Alley, I managed to see 2 more Sparrowhawks, 2 KESTRELS, and both the PEREGRINES that were up together, a COMMON BUZZARD that came over lazily was soon hurried along by the male Peregrine, - fun to watch. I didn't manage to find any House Martins though, but they have only been recorded on or before todays date in 3 out of the last 8 years, with the mean arrival date being the 19th Apr. So I reckon on a few days before seeing them.

I fell just one species short of 50 at the end of the day, maybe I should have counted the Grey Heron that flew just to the south of my patch! 50 is a very good day total for my patch!

Below is another attempt at photographing the Peregrine.

Above: a LONG TAILED TIT - seen in the maturing scrub at the north end of Migrant Alley
Below are a few garden regulars to brighten the blog. Top: ROBIN. Middle: COLLARED DOVE, and last the BLUE TIT


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Struggled horribly for Cuckoo up here last year, hope this year is better and yours comes soon.



Pete Woodruff said...

Migrants still not generally here Warren. I was birding for six hours today and not a solitary Swallow to be seen anywhere....Mmmm.

Some nice photographs here, keep up the good work warren.

Sharon said...

Lovely photos again Warren. We saw our first Swallow about 2 weeks ago and there were loads of Sandmartins nesting in the cliffs about 2 minutes from where we live. No sign of a Cuckoo yet either.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
beautiful pictures you got today. I love the robin and the long tailed... Well done on the tawny owl... Hope you will get the cuckoo soon...

EP Andy said...


You should get Cuckoo this weekend. I had one wake me this morning around 6am and when I got home thids evening one was still calling at dusk at the bottom of the garden. Only 3-4 miles away, you should get one.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Warren, at this rate, we`ll be seeing Swifts before House Martins.