Tuesday, 3 April 2012

It was cloudier and therefore cooler this afternoon, not surprising then that not a single butterfly was seen. With no butterflies to chase about, I tried to find some new spring migrants, they are due anyday now, in fact the arrival of Swallows has passed the mean arrival date for my patch, which is April 1st, this is the latest Ive had to wait for a swallow since 2008, when the first one was recorded on the 4th April. Despite cramming in visits to the lakes and Scrubby Woods, the Tree Nursery,  as well as the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley, no new spring migrants were found alas.

As I started off along Ashes lane, a Weasel scampered across the road in front of me, darting into the hedge on the other side, I could just see it through the undergrowth, and managed a photo of it, look carefully though!
An assortment of the regular resident species kept me amused, with CANADA GEESE, MALLARD, MOORHEN and COOT seen on the lakes ( a Canada Goose is now sitting on eggs) as well as a pair of TREECREEPER, a pair of NUTHATCH, several singing CHIFFCHAFF, a singing BLACKCAP, and 4 BULLFINCH all seen in the Scrubby Woods. I also had an encounter with a Grass Snake here, only my second seen this year, another shot you'll have to look carefully at!! You may need to click on the photo to enlarge it!
Grass Snake
Not staying long at the lakes and Scrubby Woods area, I then moved to the Tree Nursery, seeing the KESTREL up hunting on the way there, as well as a gathering of nine MAGPIES, again it was a case of GREEN WOODPECKERS, DUNNOCKS, WRENS, ROBNS, BLACKBIRDS and SONGTHRUSHES in amongst the shrubs, overhead three HERRING GULLS flew over with 5 BLACK HEADED GULLS.

Just about the same as the above was seen in the Greenhouse Complex grounds, along with BLUE and GREAT TITS, 6 LINNETS drinking from a  puddle, caused by a leaky pipe supplying a water trough, GOLDFINCH, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH and GOLDCREST were all found here. A walk around the paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley gave me the chance of a ROOK photo, which i'll save for another post, three, then two MEADOW PIPITS went over, but that was about the highlight, I didn't even get any new species for the month whilst out!

As well as the Rook photo's I took some more photo's of the Wrens at the Greenhouse Complex, along with a female Blackbird, one of the pair nesting there, I know........not more Wrens and Blackbirds, but thats all that showed for the camera!
Same Blackbird, but in different light  :-)


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Well done on the weasel - not seen one for a year or two now...and as for the grass snake...early 1980s was the last UK sighting I had :-( Really hope to change that this year



Phil said...

Some great shots there Warren. Absolutely love the Weasel shot, one of my favourite creatures. I like the Grass snake too, I always think that when the subject is partially hidden in its own environment it makes for a more interesting picture.

Millhouse Photography said...

Absolutely quality sightings today Warren - the Weasel is one of my favourite animals.

Warren Baker said...

Christian, Phil,
I have to agree, Weasels are my favorite Mammal too, I'd like a pet one :-)

Warren Baker said...

Grass snakes aren't too common on my patch, I was pleased with seeing this one. Good luck with your quest to find one this year.

FAB said...

Cracking set of images today Warren.

I expect those migrants are waiting somewhere just a tad bit warmer than here!

Rohrerbot said...

Excellent catches Warren!!! The snake and weasel are difficult to find in the wild. Snakes can be tricky at times to find around the landscape in the city but poke around rocks here and you're bound to have something shoot out at you:) Makes the desert a bit scary during the hot temps. Sounds like a fun walk.

Stewart said...

Butterfly! Snake! Its been F'ing snowing all day here, 1 degree this afternoon with a 50mph wind from the NE!!!!! :(

Anonymous said...

Swallows have arrived up here, Warren.

I see that you`re 11 species ahead of me for this month, already.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done from me too on the Weasel and Grass Snake .
Kept meaning to say , really like your Cuckoo header .

ShySongbird said...

Great shots and a varied post Warren. It's ages since I got a really good look at a snake and the only one I got a glimpse of last year was gone before I could even identify it.

You really are getting far more than your share of beautifully posing Wrens :-) but if you keep getting them then keep showing them, same with the Blackbirds, if you get a nice photo I for one want to see it!

Alan Pavey said...

Lovely shots Warren, the Weasel is a great capture.

Warren Baker said...

The leaves will be out soon, and the Wren fest will be over, good while it lasts though :-)