Saturday, 11 April 2009

Willow Warbler on Patch

Wood (?) Forget-me-Not
Peacock Butterfly

Lesser Celandine

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

11th April. It was good to feel the sun on my face as I walked the local patch today. I was hoping for newly arrived Willow Warblers in the area behind the village that I usually have my first sighting of the year. There was certainly plenty of bird song Chiffchaff, Wren and Blackbird predominately, and the calls of Pheasant certainly couldn’t be missed. No Willow Warbler here however.

As soon as I had left the house I had come across Small White and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and I was to find more Small Whites and a Peacock Butterfly as I got into my stride. The local Sparrowhawk flew high overhead whilst other birds in this area of the patch included Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinch and Greenfinch along with the usual corvids and pigeons. The Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria seemed to be at a peak of flower and I also found Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scriptus and Wood Forget-me-not Myosotis sylvatica, although I can’t be sure whether or not the latter was of the garden escape variety. A beautiful flower in close up.

I walked across the playing fields to the lake and found 2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls amongst the Black Headed Gulls and a pair of Great Crested Grebe, although they were on separate parts of the lake. A lone female Goosander remains and I assume this is the bird that has remained here for the past two summers when all the other wintering Goosanders have left. A Grey Heron flew down the lake as I watched on and there were several Cormorants about. I suspect the anglers were not too happy about their presence. The Mallards looked striking as the sun lit their heads and the green colouring formed varying patterns. As I began to retrace my steps I heard the song of a lone Willow Warbler and walked over to the trees to catch site of it. If it was a newly arrived bird it looked fit enough to me! It was the only one I found today and my first of the year. The small patch of reeds looked in a sorry state, but a couple of patches of Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris added some colour.
I took a stroll through the church grounds and found a Mistle Thrush on top of an old gravestone. I thought it would have made a good photograph even with my compact camera, but it flew off to quickly for me to take the shot. As I neared home my mobile rang and I stopped to read the text. That was a spot of good luck. It’s a nuisance having to get your spectacles out to read a text messagem but such is my short sight these days. At least, thankfully, there is ‘nowt’ wrong with my long sight! In the event, by the time I had fiddled on with this, I caught site of a Nuthatch at what turned out to be its nest hole. I watched it for some time as it made several flights to and from the hole and worked at ‘cementing up the hole to down size. A great way to end the walk I thought. I shall be keeping an eye on this nest to see how things work out. This is one of the great advantages of patch birding.

No comments:

Post a Comment