Thursday 7 October 2010

A sunny but cool morning greeted me today, but it soon clouded over by the time I got onto my patch at 14:00hrs.

As I left for my afternoon patch visit, I texted a friend to say ''how really quiet'' it looked on my patch as I walked home from work, how very wrong i was !!

I first visited the Lakes and scrub area, where I found myself enveloped by a feeding flock as I walked along the vegetative sides of the main lake, mostly LONG TAILED TITS, but COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST were also seen, strangely though, no Blue or Great Tits were with them. A quick scan of the water, and the usual MALLARDS and MOORHENS were seen, one Moorhen was trying to eat a floating apple, which amused me, as it couldn't get a decent peck into it as it bobbed about :-) then as I was watching that, a KINGFISHER (56) zoomed across the water and alighted some 40m away, where I got a poor photo of it.

If this was all I had recorded today, it would have been considered a reasonable day, what with the Kingfisher new for the month, but having left the Lake area, I visited the Tree Nursery, where the day turned into one to remember. I was watching the STARLINGS come down to the Laurel berries, and noting the CHIFFCHAFF that was calling nearby, when I looked up to see if there were any Swallows or House Martins about - there weren't, but there was what I thought at first, to be a Mistle Thrush, it flew over, then turned back and alighted on a Pine tree, I lifted my bins to see a superb male RING OUZEL ( 130, 104, 57) , a FANTASTIC patch tick !!!!!!! I read about birders seeing these northern thrushes around the coasts, and the odd bird reported from inland, but NEVER did I think I would get one on my patch! I am ecstatic with this record :-)

I had yet to visit Migrant Alley, and it was with a large spring in my step that I did a circuit of the Sheep pasture and paddocks. On the very first scan of the recently chopped young hedgerow, I found what would have in itself made the month, not one, but a pair of STONECHAT (58) , just the second record of this species for the year, they are not seen in every year on my patch so this really had turned in to some afternoon :-)

Chuffed to bits with the days birds, I couldn't expect much more, but it hadn't ended yet, I was well pleased to see a HOBBY (59), hunting low over the paddocks, this is my latest record of this species, so its another great bird for October. ( the previous latest date was on Oct 1, in 2004).

Scanning the remaining fields, I found a mixed flock of 26 PIED WAGTAILS, at least 50 LINNETS, and again, at least 50 GOLDFINCH, quite something to hear when they all took off, as a KESTREL came over :-)

So there you have it, not so quiet on my patch after all, what a day :-)

Photo's today are of a poor quality, as they are all distant, but its a good reminder of this brilliant afternoons patch watching.

Above: Kingfisher

Below: The patch tick Ring Ouzel - I told you it was distant :-)

Below: The male Stonechat, what a great little bird.

Below : the Kestrel

These three photo's are of the sunset last evening, I thought you would like to see them.


Anonymous said...

A fantastic day then Warren and congratulations on what is a very special patch tick.
Next time you tell me it`s quiet, i`ll take it with a pinch of salt ;-)

Phil said...

Great stuff Warren!
I've only ever seen Ring Ouzel on top of Mount Snowdon in Wales and the Langdale Pikes in Cumbria. To get one on the home patch is fantastic. Well done indeed!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks, Dean / Phil.

Hope I get a quiet one tomorrow Dean :-)

Chris said...

Well done on the ring ouzel Warren. I've seen one in morocco but never managed to find it in France. The pictures of the pink sky are gorgeous!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Magic stuff and those sunsets to crown a good day! ROs are getting harder to find breeding up here with every passing year now...hopefully Chat Alley will produce at the w/end.
Don't forget you've got a YBW coming your way someday soon too...keep those ears peeled.



Greenie said...

Warren ,
Who's a happy blogger then ?
Brilliant afternoon sightings , and always good to get a record shot , regardless how distant .
Well done on the sunset shots too .

Pete Woodruff said...

So the Stonechats are passage birds then Warren, next stop the Med....what a great little bird indeed.

That sunset was a cracker wasn't it.

ShySongbird said...

WOW!!! What an afternoon! That lovely sky was certainly a portent of good things to come. A Ring Ouzel...unbelievable! Well done, Warren and then a Kingfisher and Stonechats, brilliant :) Lovely photos too.

Adam said...

Hi Warren - what patch watching is all about. Very well done and well-deserved - what a tick. Know the feeling have Ring Ouzel on my patch in the Spring - last bird you'd expect inland Kent, but you just want to tell everyone about it!!


Warren Baker said...

Thanks all for the comments, its your contributions that make the blog more interesting to follow.:-)

Jason K said...

What a great day you've had Warren. Id happily swap you all of my Lapwings for a Ring Ouzel!

Jann said...

Woo hoo!! Congrats on the ring ouzel! Awesome to get any shot of a kingfisher too, at least in my world it is. Congrats on the stonechats too, you did have one of those amazing days!