Friday 27 April 2012

At last the weather has calmed down a bit, allowing an afternoon stroll over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods area, plus a 40 min skywatch at Migrant Alley. I was hoping to hear the sound of Turtle Dove or Lesser Whitethroat in the Scrubby Woods, both these migrants species are due in any day now, but they were not forthcoming, however, a bit of a surprise was in store when I heard, then managed to track down my first GARDEN WARBLER (87, 67) of the year, I was a bit surprised to find it, as this species is normally not seen until May on my patch, todays record is only the second April record in eleven years, last year I didn't record one at all in spring, and had to wait until the return migration in Autumn.The eleven year median average arrival date for Garden warbler is now the 3rd May.

Whilst in the Scrubby Woods, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH and COAL TIT were all seen well, and with all the resident birds singing, it felt much more like April  :-)  A quick check on the COOT chicks over on the lake confirmed they are now down to just the two.

As I walked over to my sky watching seat, I noticed a good flock of STARLINGS in sheep pasture next to the Tree Nursery, at least 35 were collecting food for hungry nestlings. Before taking my seat, I had a scout around the Greenhouse Grounds, and was pleased to find the WHITETHROAT had returned there, also a Blackcap has set up territory here, as usual the commonest bird here is the WREN and as usual I got lots of photo's of one  :-)

The Skywatch was an average affair, with three raptor species being seen, those being the KESTREL pair, a single BUZZARD and a pair of SPARROWHAWKS. The eagerly awaited first Swift of the year didn't show, but that can only be days away now, a few more SWALLOWS have arrived though, and they were watched feeding around the sheep. Lets hope for some decent weather for tomorrows early full patch walk  :-)

Garden Warbler - First of the year  :-)
Garden Warbler. It was singing away in an Elder tree, whilst in a Hawthorn tree just yards away a Blackcap was in full song too, thats more like April !
Whitethroat at the Greenhouse Grounds
Female BLACKBIRD, also at the Greenhouse Grounds
Wren.  I took about 21 shots of it, and they all had they annoying white stick spoiling the photo
I had to wait for it to re-appear and shoot over again   :-)
SONGTHRUSH. I took a photo of this same bird in the same tree earlier in the year, it had its back to me on that occasion too !


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Your Garden wWrbler pics are superb Warren - how'd you get it show so well?
Swifts passing through up here so you've gotta get one this weekend.



Warren Baker said...

Re the Garden warbler photo's, you have to sit and wait, and wait, and wait..........and wait some more :-)

ShySongbird said...

No,'re not fooling me, it's superglue ;-) Great photos throughout Warren, I've never managed one of a Garden Warbler.

Was that sunshine I spotted? We've had rain all day long...again :-( it certainly looks more like Spring there than it does here. The weekend doesn't look any better either.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Like Davo says , those Garden Warbler shots are great .
We've got to re-think the Owl box job , it was Steve who brought the ladders . I don't have a roof rack .

Warren Baker said...

I'll try and sort some ladders out before hand, ill give you a date soon :-)

Warren Baker said...

Ive only had two or three photo chances of Garden warblers, they are scarce on my patch though :-(

Yep, a bit of sunshine today, but it seems the price will be paid for that this weekend, especially on Sunday!

Phil said...

Did I miss some weather while I was away then Warren?
Like the others I really like your GW pics. In fact I really like all your pics :-)

Unknown said...

Great Wren images and enjoyed your earlier Sparrowhawk post super shots.

Stringer said...

Superb garden warbler !! Do you use a DSLR ?

Got a great garden warbler ringing recovery this morning, I'll put it on my blog soon...

Anonymous said...

Well done with the GW, Warren. And cracking pics of it, too.

Warren Baker said...

Yes mate, I use a Canon 50D DSLR

Alan Pavey said...

More additions Warren, great stuff and really nice Garden Warbler shots

Millhouse Photography said...

I love the Wren shots mate, don't worry about the white stick!