Monday 29 August 2011

It was nice to start the day with a bit of warm sunshine this morning, and it was obviously appreciated by the birds, as they had all come back out of their hiding places of the last few days, making for a very pleasant bird filled 4 hour patch walk - the last full patch walk of August.

First bird up on the list was the inevitable COLLARED DOVE, and as I walked along Ashes Lane it was quickly followed by JACKDAW, GREENFINCH, SWALLOW, ROBIN, CARRION CROW, WOODPIGEON, BLUE TIT, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, STARLING and WREN. Crossing through the Greenhouse Complex, lots of common stuff was feeding in the Elder and Blackberry scrub, SONGTHRUSH, CHIFFCHAFF, LINNET, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GREAT TIT and at least 3 WHITETHROATS were back there too. Walking into Migrant Alley, the list was augmented by flyover LESSER BLACK BACKED, HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS, as well as MAGPIE, ROOK, and STOCK DOVE. A scan of the fence lines again gave me WHEATEAR for the list, what a good Autumn i'm having for this species :-)

Next up was the College Grounds, no surprises here today, but both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, BULLFINCH, HOUSE SPARROW and a fly through SPARROWHAWK were all viewed, the Spotted Flycatchers seem to have departed now, they havn't been seen here since the 21st, so any more sightings of these will be down to passage birds moving through.

As I walked back through Migrant Alley, the now familiar call of YELLOW WAGTAIL was heard, at least 4 single birds went over, and one flew up from the sheep pasture, also a few HOUSE MARTIN fed overhead for a few minutes, before flying off SW.

The second half of my walk was just as entertaining, in the Small Holding there was plenty of activity, and I added JAY, plus PHEASANT to the days sightings, but the walk through the Wet Woods proved pretty quiet, it was still quite cool and dark in here :-) Moving on to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, I added MALLARD, MOORHEN from the main lake, as usual, but today they were being kept company by a GREY HERON and a superb KINGFISHER, which as always avoided the camera!

The Scrubby Woods was very active today, all the birds seemed to be crammed in the sunniest area of the scrub ( cant blame them!) A large mixture of birds, including BLACKCAP, LESSER WHITETHROAT, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, plus more Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Blue and Great Tit, as well as Song Thrush, Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren, Dunnock, just about everything in fact were all feasting on apples, Elder and Blackberries.

After that little lot, I made my way back over to Migrant Alley via the Tree Nursery, while walking through the latter, both GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE flew over, they were late today! Whilst a 30 min skywatch at Migrant Alley gave me views of a HOBBY, a BUZZARD and a KESTREL, finishing off with a SKYLARK, in all 53 species were noted, an excellent visit indeed :-)

With all those birds about, something had to stay still for the camera, and the most obliging was the Wheatear below.

I was very pleased to get a photo of this Lesser Whitethroat, this species hardly ever shows itself, and when it does it isn't for long, this one was in a spanking fresh plumage too.

Below is one of the Long Tailed Tits, in somewhat less fresh plumage, having had a good preen :-)

The Goldcrest was also a bit shabby after it also finished a preening session

Below is a Southern Hawker Dragonfly which alighted briefly

Lastly a newly emerged Comma Butterfly, looking like a red hot coal on the green brambles :-)


Marc Heath said...

Very nice Lesser Whitethroat shot, as you say hard enough to see let alone photograph. The man done well!!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Marc,
One for my ''keep'' folder :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Crackin curruca pic there Warren - totallt top dollar - well done!!!



Warren Baker said...

Cheers Davo! Lady luck was with me today :-)

Bob Bushell said...

Well shot Warren, I love the Wheatear and the Lesser Whitethroat, superb.

Anonymous said...

You had a better day than me, Warren, in every way.
Cracking shots, again.

Mike said...

Stunning shots Warren, especially like the first 2.

Jason K said...

Thats a smart looking Lesser Whitethroat Warren...can you send it my way please...everyone except me seems to have had one on my patch...grrr