Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Some hefty showers trundled their way over my patch today, but in between downpours the odd sunny spell was also enjoyed. It was a slow start to the day, and for most of the morning it was a distinctly average patch visit, the only real highlight being a KINGFISHER that flew up the College Stream, and the sighting of a SWALLOW around the College Stables, this one was a 'patch breeder' no doubt, good to see them back :-)

I ended my walk over at the Lakes and Scrubby woods, but failing to find Nuthatch and Coal Tit there, or any sort of Raptor species earlier in the walk, limited the day list to just 42, rather disappointing after reaching 50 species yesterday, it was still a worthwhile exercise though, as a few more BLACKCAPS had arrived, especially in the Scrubby Woods, and I also encountered a pair of TREECREEPERS nest building there.

I decided to go over and do some skywatching, from my seat at Migrant Alley, where things took a turn for the better, one of the KESTRELS was up hunting, and a pair of PIED WAGTAILS were with three MEADOW PIPITS in the sheep pasture, just three of many that were seen and heard going over for the two hours I was there. I spied two small birds coming towards me from the SE, these turned out to be my first HOUSE MARTINS (81, 58) of the year, a little later 3 Swallows also passed over. A SKYLARK was up singing, so high as to be unseen, but as I scoured the sky for it, I spied a SPARROWHAWK circling, a few minutes later  the first of three BUZZARDS went over, and later still a fourth raptor - the PEREGRINE was watched as it slowly glided across the blackening sky. That brought the total species list for the day to 49, much better, but before ending the visit, due to a large black shower heading my way, I was treated to my fifth raptor species of the day, when a fantastic RED KITE (59) flew over, what a great bird to reach the 50 species with!

I took quite a few photo's today, alas, not of the Red Kite!
One of the Treecreepers seen in the Scrubby woods
Its mate was colecting nesting material
One of 16 CANADA GEESE that were o the lakes
I post lots of DUNNOCK photo's, but I was so pleased with these shots i'll post them as well :-)
One of the three Meadow Pipits in the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley


Marc Heath said...

Nice selection of shots Warren and a Red Kite, that must have been nice. House Martins seem a little earlier to me this year. I normally expect to see them in a couple of weeks yet.

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely set of pics Warren

Warren Baker said...

Looking at my stats for House Martins,it seems you suspicions are correct. My record today was 7 days earlier than the 11 year median date, and is the second earliest arrival date.

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Not had a sand martin yet Warren - never mind houseys



ShySongbird said...

Lovely, crystal clear photos Warren! Well done on the House Martins and Red Kite :-)

Rohrerbot said...

Warren, great closeups of the Dunnock.....they did turn out well!!! Hopefully you'll get your Red Kite on camera over the course of the next several days.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant shots of the Treecreepers.

Pete Woodruff said...

An excellent set of images again Warren, always a pleasure to view.

Millhouse Photography said...

Well done on the Treecreeper nest building Warren. very nice.