Sunday 21 April 2013

After the initial chill of the early morning, the sun at last came good here at Pittswood, with no wind and not a cloud in the sky, I made my first full patch visit of the year without a wooly hat  :-)

My five hour visit only produced 44 bird species, well down on previous visits, with the likes of Jay, Treecreeper, and Pheasant not turning out today, as well as no sightings of the usual raptors, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, and Buzzard, which had not shown up by 11:00hrs, however one raptor that did show was my first HOBBY (89,73) of the year, it flew over Migrant Alley, then away to the SW.  Usually I have to wait until May to find these smart little falcons, this is only the third April sighting in the 12 years of watching my patch, with the Median first date being the 3 May.

The last of the winter species are still just about being found, a MEADOW PIPIT that flew over the newly ploughed Tree Nursery field is the second latest recorded, the latest being the 23rd April, also a pair of SISKIN were seen on my garden feeders during my half way stop, making these the latest Siskins seen.

A TAWNY OWL hooted a long quivering hoot over at the Scrubby Woods, where there was plenty of BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF activity, these and the SWALLOWS seen over Migrant Alley were the only other summer birds that were seen today, the Willow warblers, Whitethroat and Cuckoo have all passed through.

Not much more was had to excite, the dawn chorus was very disappointing, in fact bird song throughout the visit was very patchy, but then nesting habitat is getting less and less here now  :-(
NUTHATCH in the Wet Woods - the first seen for a while
CHAFFINCH from my garden

Whilst I sat in my garden around midday, my first Brimstone Butterfly of this spring flew in, but didn't stay for a photo. My wait for my first Brimstone photograph goes on!

After lunch, I visited the redundant church that sits on the high ground to the NE of my patch, its graveyard is a wildlife haven, with many wildflowers amongst the old gravestones, and I spent some time photographing the Bee flies there, as well as a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, frustration set in when another Brimstone came along and settled on some violets, I missed the photo by tenths of a second, the flutter flew just as my finger was on the shutter..........
View of my patch from the Church - you can make out the Greenhouse Complex some miles away.
Small Tortoiseshell
Bee Fly
Another Bee Fly


Marc Heath said...

And now you have beaten me to a Hobby. Right thats it, I have to find something good soon!!

Anonymous said...

It looks and sounds like you had a good day Warren :-) The countryside around your patch looks very pleasant indeed with a good variety of habitat and plenty of birds and whatnot.

Alan Pavey said...

Well done with Hobby Warren, I've not heard of any others.

ShySongbird said...

Well done on the Hobby Warren :-) Lovely to see the Small Tort and Bee-fly both looking colourful among the Ground Ivy flowers.