Sunday 8 May 2011

A period of rain early this morning had me running from one piece of cover to the next, I don't mind getting wet, but my camera gear does!! So a good half an hour was wasted standing under tree cover, this spoilt the early part of the walk, which is usually the most productive part.

About 08:30 the cloud cleared and the sun shone intermittently, a blustery southerly wind got up, making it feel cool, but at least now I could carry on with my visit. Up to the point that the rain stopped, I had just 25 species on my list, the best of which was a flyover YELLOW WAGTAIL that went north over Migrant Alley, also, I had relocated the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER at the College Grounds earlier, it was calling loudly, trying to attract a mate, but as yet, has not.

After a quick change of fleece and a bite to eat, I headed off to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, where another 25 species went on the day list, 50 species two days running is good going here! On the lakes one of the adult COOT was back out showing, but apart from 6 CANADA GEESE, 2 MOORHEN and 2 MALLARD all was normal here, a GREY HERON did come down to fish a little while later though.

In the Scrubby Woods the summer migrants seen included CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, WHITETHROAT, TURTLE DOVE, CUCKOO, and a LESSER WHITETHROAT, the first recorded here this year, and the fourth one on my patch overall. I was quite relieved when a BLUE TIT was eventually found, the 44th species on the list! A JAY flew in between the tree canopy, I didn't find one yesterday, and a KESTREL hovered over, both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER showed themselves, and a TREECREEPER was seen carrying a feather, not doubt to line it's nest with :-)

A brief skywatch over at Migrant Alley a little later was a poor show, in keeping with the day really, just a single HERRING GULL, a SPARROWHAWK, and around six SWIFTS were all I noted, the Swifts normally nest in the Tower in Hadlow village, but as that has now been netted off, to prevent the Peregrines nesting ( which they didn't anyway) the Swifts have no access to their favoured nest sites. I hope the local church has a few crevices for them to use, otherwise it will be a sad summer indeed not to hear the scream of the Swifts around the village square, a sound that has been heard since the Tower was built :-(

Anyway, as there wasn't much going on birdwise, I chased down a few Butterflies, RED ADMIRAL, plus the SMALL and LARGE WHITE evaded my camera, more annoyingly so did a BRIMSTONE BUTTERFLY, only the 3rd one seen this year, but this HOLLY BLUE didn't get away :-)

The SMALL COPPER below was is the one I meant to put on yesterday :-)

The last Butterfly I got a pic. of was this SPECKLED WOOD

Early in the morning, just before the rain I came across this SONGTHRUSH nest building

Lastly another garden image, a GREENFINCH


Jason K said...

A nice selection of flutters there warren...great photos too!

Pete Woodruff said...

Good to hear of the Spotted Flycatcher and Yellow Wagtail overhead taken a 'dip' up here in't North too with some serious and much needed rain.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Warren, There is something very evocative about the sound of Swifts. I hope the church can accommodate them :)

Nice flutter pics and I like the one of the busy Song Thrush too.

Derek Faulkner said...

Has it rained properly in Kent this weekend then, I'm surprised. Here on Sheppey we've had about ten minutes light rain all weekend.

Warren Baker said...

Derek, I take it you didn't get the Thunder storms Sat.Night :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

Absolutely no way, it stayed try through the night until about 4.00 when we had some very fine rain that barely wet the road and since 6.30 this morning it has been very sunny, very windy and since mid-morning, hot. So no sign of any moisture here.

Anonymous said...

I had Swifts screeching over the garden for most of the day, Warren. And like yours, mine have got to find new nesting sites as well.

Marc Heath said...

Nice Small Copper shot, I think they are one of our best butterflies. I need to start loking for these I think.