Thursday, 28 April 2011

Warblers in the Sun

Orange Tip Butterfly. Wish I'd been able to add a photo of the female too. I wasn't quick enough.

27th April. As I was leaving the patch today (Wed) I found my first Common Whitethroats of the year, a pair. Another male bird was heard singing a little further along the pathway. A Blackcap was seen and heard too, as where the Chiffchaffs. I began to wonder if I’m about to wake up from a wonderful dream and find that we have actually suffered heavy rainfall during the whole of April. Today was another sunny one although the easterly wind was quite chilly until lunchtime.

As the day went on I came across more Common Whitethroats and Blackcaps, and had a brief but clear sighting of a Lesser Whitethroat. This one teased me as it sang at length as it moved along inside the thick hedging. After my initial sighting of the bird I only caught it again briefly as it flew from one side of the pathway to the other. I was well chuffed with this sighting, however star bird appearances were not yet at an end as I went on to find Little Owl. So I ended up with three good new year ticks today. Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler song was frequently heard and I had some nice sightings of the latter birds.

Orange Tip Butterflies were about in some number, females as well as males. I managed good sightings of one of the females, but unfortunately only managed photographs of the males. I remember seeing a Moroccan Orange Tip Butterfly whilst in Extremadura a couple of years ago. Now that one was a real beauty, being yellow and orange rather than our white and orange butterfly. In the Spanish sunlight it was a great treat to see. Other butterflies seen today were Small White, Green Veined White and Speckled Wood.

I ended the day at Tynemouth and North Shields. Despite the light breeze it was hot behind the priory where it is a real suntrap. No migrant birds found though. I enjoyed a walk along to North Shields fish quay and of course I couldn’t resist the smell of fish and chips. I later climbed up the bank from the quay (note to self…really must get fitter. Could there be a link with the fish and chips?), and thankfully found my bus standing at the bus stop. I sat at peace with the world that is until the bus took a route I didn’t expect. Had I got on the wrong bus I wondered. Thankfully it was only a diversion!

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