Sunday 12 April 2015

High cloud diminished much of the warmth from the sun this morning, when it remained dry and bright, but with a strengthening wind for my five hour full patch walk.

My walk today was never going to live up to the visit of yesterday, but the 50 species I found this morning contained some nice birds.

My initial early walk of Migrant Alley didn't give me the anticipated Wheatear, only the half dozen LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, 18 HERRING GULLS, and flyover MEADOW PIPIT were of note there. The Wooded Headland to the North of Migrant Alley had both CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP singing from it, then passing back down the sheep pasture I saw a BUZZARD exit the Greenhouse Copse.

A very springlike wall of song was heard as I walked the wooded parts of my patch, with songs or calls from NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, BULLFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, STOCK DOVE, JAY, and a couple more each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, even the TAWNY OWL gave a hoot! The best song and one of my favourites, was heard from the banks of the main lake though, when my first WILLOW WARBLER (79,64) of the year gave its summery descending trill, its arrival being 3 days later than the median average first date for the 14 years of recording.

Here it is, the first Willow Warbler of 2015, having a good preen after its long northerly flight

On the lakes I was again surprised, but pleased, to see the GOOSANDER present on the ornamental lake, the Coots have disappeared again though, leaving the just the regulars of MUTE SWAN, MALLARD, MOORHEN, CANADA GOOSE and GREYLAG GOOSE, the latter being seen on its nest.

Goosander, this bird looks to be a male coming out of 'eclipse' plumage.

A LITTLE OWL called from the Small Holding as I passed through on my way to a second visit to Migrant Alley, where upon my arrival, a scan along the battered hedgerow, revealed, at last, 2 superb male WHEATEARS  (80,65). They took one look at me and flew off onto the paddocks, who can blame them! I did however get a distant shot of one, then left them to feed. I say 'at last' a Wheatear, but their sighting today is bang on the median average first sighting date for the past 14 years.

Wheatear! The years patch list reaches 80  :-)

They were a bit distant so I had to crop these shots quite a bit!


Marc Heath said...

Another good Warren. I might have to move down your way at this rate. You are finding some nice stuff.

Warren Baker said...

I have to have a purple patch at some point! :-) :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

Wheatears at last, lucky you, they're still absent from the Swale NNR. Worst year for Spring migrants for some time.

Warren Baker said...

They will all come at once........make sure you're there!

Wilma said...

Great shot of the goosander - and I can breath again now that you have your first wheatears! :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Wheatears and a Willow Warbler, the latter I'm still waiting.

Have a good week Warren.

Warren Baker said...

So can I LoL