Sunday 11 March 2012

A cracking spring day today, with intermittent warm sunshine all the way though, surely a day when the first Chiffchaff would turn up ?

It wasn't to be though, but they have been heard singing now by other bloggers, so they will be on my patch this week :-)  It wasn't a disappointing visit though by any means, with the total species seen for the day hitting the magic fifty mark. A few winter species were involved in the count, with 4 REDWING seen again in the Alpaca enclosure at the Small Holding, and five FIELDFARE flew over later in the walk, as did a single LESSER REDPOLL. Two MEADOW PIPITS were seen over in the Greenhouse Grounds.

A KINGFISHER was again seen at the lakes, but there were no other surprises here today, all the regulars were picked up in the Scrubby Woods, mostly by ear, songsters included COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH, SONGTHRUSH and MISTLETHRUSH.
I spent time at Migrant Alley scanning the fields and paddocks, but no Wheatear yet, although it was good to hear a SKYLARK singing up high. Whilst there two GREYLAG and a single CANADA GOOSE, flew over, followed moments later by two CORMORANTS. I decided to have a quick look around the College Grounds, despite it being Lambing Weekend, I still had half an hour before it began. When I arrived it was, as expected, busy with workers, but a couple of sightings made there were of note, first off a NUTHATCH, its not often they turn up here, the other was altogether more unexpected and exciting. I looked up to tick off a ROOK that was flying over, when up above it I spied a large raptor, it turned out to be a RED KITE ( 71, 58), WOW!! What an excellent sighting! I have been seeing them for a few years now on my patch, ( 2006 was the first, but they have occurred yearly now since 2008) but I'm only treated one or two sightings a year  :-)  I managed some sort of photo of it, but only had seconds before it went over.
Red Kite
I finished up the walk with my customary sky watch on my seat at Migrant Alley, which proved quite useful for the days list. Two BUZZARDS and two SPARROWHAWKS showed up, the flyover Lesser Redpoll earlier mentioned, 3 Gull species, BLACK HEADED, HERRING and LESSER BLACK BACKED as well as a few PIED WAGTAILS.
Sparrowhawk, Female
Sparrowhawk, Male
This afternoon I had a look around the Greenhouse Grounds to see if I could locate some butterflies, I did, just one, a rather tatty Red Admiral, but it's a start  :-)
Red Admiral


Ken. said...

Well done on not only seeing my favourite bird, but also getting a photo of it.
Nice shot of the Wren to, great little mouse like bird, love watching them.
Good to see butterflies on the wing.

Rohrerbot said...

Pretty exciting. You can always tell when change is coming....the butterflies! Love the pics of the sparrowhawks. I think they are so interesting. One flew over my head yesterday while I was having a conversation out in the parking lot while gardening. We're getting our pool space all set up for a majestic fountain and this bird just flew over my head and my neighbors started laughing. It was cool...really cool. Both you and Bob have an excellent steady hand keeping those birds in focus. Nice work! One more week and I have off for a week!! I can't wait. Been reading the birding hotline here and there are some new birds in the area! Have a good start to your week. Chris

Wilma said...

A terrific day, Warren. I particularly l like the wren photo with the way its feathers mirror the pattern of the leaves (arbor vitae?). And a red kite! wonderful, the shot is not bad either. ;-) Looks like spring for sure.

Anonymous said...

I`m not predicting anything anymore, Warren. Especially when you end up with the result ;-)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Ken,
Spring is upon us for sure mate :-)

Warren Baker said...

Enjoy your week off, hope you get to see plenty of new birds :-)

Warren Baker said...

I'm not sure what the Wren was flitting about in, just know it was a clipped evergreen!

Warren Baker said...

I told you last time, do the lottery !

Marc Heath said...

You lucky man, my favourite bird. Nice to get a shot as well. Hopefully I will get one this year too.

Warren Baker said...

It was a big slice of luck too!

ShySongbird said...

Sounds like you had an enjoyable day Warren, it was beautiful here too and the forecast said no sun at all for us!!!

Well done on the Red Kite, they do seem to be doing well.

Great shots of two little birds who so often skulk around out of the way of the camera.

Three Small Tortoiseshells flitting around in the sun together here, my first butterflies of the year :-)

Warren Baker said...

Its always nice when the forecast is wrong, but in your favour :-)

Three small torts is good for this early in the year :-)

Millhouse Photography said...

Red Kite! Brilliant news Warren.

Alan Pavey said...

Excellent, Red Kite what a beauty, I've been looking from here but no luck so far :-)

Chris said...

No place for butterflies here, still too cold. You got ebautiful shots this day Warren, the wren and the dunnock are superb!