Thursday, 12 April 2012

Another very showery day, but most of them fortunately skirted around my patch for the duration of the five hour visit, which turned out to be another eventful walk. For the third day running a total of fifty species was recorded, with some nice new additions to those previous visits. The first of them was a flyover CUCKOO (82,60) it few low over the College Gardens, this is the only time I have seen my first Cuckoo of the year before hearing it! The Cuckoo has arrived two days earlier than its 11 year median average date, and is the second earliest I have recorded, this species is so punctual on its arrival, it never fails to impress me, the spread of arrival dates over the 11 years of watching my patch is just 7 days - incredible.

The excitement continued for me when Migrant Alley gave me my first WHEATEAR (83,61) of the year, this migrant species' arrival date is spread much wider, from the 14th March to the 4th May, the median arrival date is the 5th April, so this bird is a little late passing through.
My first Wheatear of the spring. It didn't allow very close approach, but I got some record shots :-)
It was good to get nice views of a LITTLE OWL in the Greenhouse Copse. and in the Greenhouse Grounds the pair of KESTRELS were seen perched together on one of the Greenhouses.

A BUZZARD flew from an Oak tree in the Small Holding as I passed through to get to the lake area, where upon my arrival I heard a TAWNY OWL (62) hoot, good to get that one on the April list, which is now steadily increasing, although has still only reached 10th place in the April rankings so far, out of 11!

The only surprise on the lakes today was a KINGFISHER, which flew off with a small fish, leaving me wondering was it taking it to young ? There are no suitable banks for the Kingfisher to nest on my patch though.

Again the walk was finished of with a skywatch over on my seat at Migrant Alley,  SPARROWHAWK, another two Buzzard, and a PEREGRINE FALCON were seen, as well as watching the Kestrels. There were no Meadow Pipits on passage today, and the only Gull species seen were HERRING GULLS.
Shame I couldn't get the Cuckoo in a photo - but i did get the following :-)
JACKDAW, one from the colony at the College Grounds

Kestrel, hunting over the Greenhouse Complex, looks good for the first ever breeding attempt on my patch now  :-)
MOORHEN, seen along the College Stream ( river Bourne)


ShySongbird said...

Come off it Warren! The first Wheatear photo in particular cant be described as a 'record shot', it's lovely :-) Well done on that and the Cuckoo, how lovely, I didn't even hear one here last year :-(

Warren Baker said...

hi Songbird,
LoL! I must be getting fussy with my photography !

Keep an eye on the sky songbird, the Cuckoos do move about a bit, and fly over un-noticed by many.

Bob Bushell said...

You got the Wheatear, well done Warren.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Beautiful encounter today. So i can expect the weathear to be here soon too ;-) The first golden plover were spotted and I saw tow few days ago... I love your weathear pictures, they are really nice but I envy you to spot and see so many owl species ;-)

Marc Heath said...

Whooopppeee, migrants at last for you. It does not seem quite right that you saw a Cuckoo before you heard it, that's just wrong.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Nice one with the cuckoo Warren. If you didn't disturb the kingfisher and nothing else did then nearby breeding has to be a possibility - fingers crossed for good news in the near future - some detective work for you...



Jason K said...

What a great day Warren! Cuckoo and a looks like things are finally moving!

p.s. I had my first patch Redstart of the Spring Yesterday

Phil said...

Wheatear at migrant alley. All is as it should be:-)