The week started where last week ended with spring migrants with me seeing/hearing my first returning Chiffchaff of the year at my work patch on Monday 21st, this bird happens to be the earliest recorded here by 4 days. With a warm start to the week more Butterflies were out with me seeing more Commas this week along with Peacocks and Tortoiseshells, see My Patch highlights.
We ended up on Friday 25th at Pugneys Country Park [ Link ] on a family walk and of course the bins/camera had to come along. There were a few birds of note about Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher, Tufted Duck, Reed Bunting, another Chiffchaff, we couldn’t get in the hide due once again to vandalism and repair work so because of this we stood near the other hide along the banking between the two lakes watching Great Crested Grebes doing the courtship display and Goldeneyes when all of a sudden up sprung a splendid Male Smew, we watched this bird for ten minutes or so before carrying on walking towards the far end. It was here we finally spotted another returning migrant Sand Martins first one then two then a dozen or so, a very similar bird to the House Martin put brown in colour with a white under belly and with no white rump, it was then time for tea
Pugneys List [in no order] :- Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Mute swan, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Smew, Goldeneye, Moorhen, Coot, Bullfinch, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great tTit, Pied Wagtail, Rock/Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Kingfisher, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin
Oorah!! for week 11 I think its returned I saw it this week evidence that new life is being reborn life that only comes at spring time…what.. you know, I saw frog spawn this week in the pond on my work patch area this week evidence that spring has sprung and if that wasn’t enough how about spring migrants returning from africa evidence again. Reports of Little Ringed Plovers, Sand Martins, Wheatears, White Wagtails and Osprey this week had me looking around My Patch area at Broadstones Reservoir.
My day started early about 7am and it felt more and looked more like winter this early but things started to warm up and then the birds started singing Chaffinch [Video Link] were in full song along with Yellowhammer, Linnet, Dunnock, Wren there were all in full song. On at the reservoir Oystercatchers [Video Link] 8 in all making their calls and piping in the near by fields Curlews and Lapwings were in evidence too. On the reservoir water Mallards, Canada Geese, Common Gulls, Black Headed Gulls, and Little Grebe along the inlet banking Grey Wagtail and Reed Bunting could be found.
I made my way back to the car and onto the Common area fields to find a pair of Little Owls sitting a top the fence posts enjoying by now the spring sunshine, Pied Wagtails, Crow, Jackdaws, Lapwings, Curlews all in the ajoining fields. As I made my way around to Cheesegate Nab I made a pull in next to a nice sloping field short grass a place were I might find a Wheatear they like this kind of open grass area. firstly I saw Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and then a wagtail which turned out to be a White Wagtail [Moticilla alba alba] a subspecies of our Pied Wagtail [Moticilla alba yarrellii], a spring migrant from mainland Europe showing its paler grey back distinctive black cap appearance, cleaner and whiter appearance than Pied and then in to view a Male Wheatear followed closely by a female now spring has sprung I told you it had, my first true migrant of the year and seen before March was out. It was nice to have the sun on my back and the feeling of warmer days to come bringing insects back to life a new season of Butterflies and Dragonflies happy days.
Week 10 at work proven to be a good week birds species numbers were up with highlights being Goldcrest, Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatch, see My Patch Highlights (Link). Work took away my Friday morning outing but I did manage a visit to Thurgory Lane to find Tree Sparrow.
The end of the week saw us again at Clumber Park to try and find the Great Grey Shrike that had been there for nearly two week the visit turned in to more of a walk with us not seeing the Shrike but I did manage to add Sparrowhawk, Mandarin and Green Woodpecker to the year list. Other birds of the day 4 Buzzards in the air together Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Black Headed Gull, Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Goldcrest must be one of the hardest birds to get a photo of anybody whos done it well done, Chaffinch, Robin, Dunnock, Wren and calling Tawny Owls (You can click the pics to make them larger).
Just reviewed the Clumber Great Grey Shrike (Sunday at 4pm) I now know were I went wrong after looking at various websites and the map again, yep we where on the wrong side of the road, will I get another chance?? the last one I saw was the Carsington Water bird back in December 2004 so long overdue to see another
The first was Blackmoorfoot near Crossland Moor the day was misty the water was still and the birds were few, so what could be seen, Mallards, Goosanders (4), Black Headed Gulls, Common Gull (2), Goldeneye 1 pair, Tufted Duck 1 pair, that was on the water in the surrounding fields Pheasant, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Robin, along with Crows. Well not much to speak of so I decided on a walk around Deer Hill more of a moorland reservoir so I was hoping for a few year ticks. On the approach road near the farm buildings Woodpigeon and Collard Dove in the fields further on plenty of displaying Lapwings and flocks of Starlings, a few Curlews came over head and landed in the fields, good to see these back on their breeding grounds, also of note a few Skylarks singing away and Red Grouse on the moor. On the reservoir a sole Canada Goose, Mallards, a few Black Headed Gulls came in with a couple of Common Gulls and one lone Grey Heron on the far side and that was about my day