Friday, 3 June 2011

Back to the patch

I did a couple of short walks over the weekend, the highlight of which was a flyover CROSSBILL but it wasn't until yesterday that I had a good look round. Starting at 4.30am with recording moths, Steve is having a rest from this for a week or so, it took me until 6am to record them all! 193 moths of 49 species, it was a good test and I can't be sure I didn't miss anything but generally most ID's seemed fairly straight forward, the highlight on the moth front was Grey Arches, new for the year and probably only the second or third one I've seen that I can remember in my short time 'mothing'!!
Whilst mothing I heard CUCKOO and COMMON WHITETHROATS and a few GOLDFINCHES were bouncing around the veg garden, I started my walk in the car park and immediately came across a family of NUTHATCHES the first of four groups I encountered this morning, which was really pleasing that they had all been successful. A GARDEN WARBLER was singing and as I looked towards Park Field a LITTLE OWL was perched on the fence to the new overflow car park. I was pleased with my next find to, as it was a pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS away from the first pair that were around before I went away, there is also sometimes a pair in the wood so I'll look for them over the next few days.

Heading down to the lake HOUSE MARTINS and SWALLOWS dived between the buildings and a BULLFINCH shone out against the green as it crossed the gardens. The lake was fairly quiet a STOCK DOVE was in its favourite Oak and one of the GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS poked a head out of a nest as I went by on the public footpath, I hung around the lake for a while and was eventually rewarded with a KINGFISHER flying at around head height on the bottom lake it disappeared into the wood following the small stream.
This Woodpecker watched me walk by!

The meadow above the lake is full of these!

In my favourite clearing BLUE TITS and GREAT TITS were everywhere, not a lot else to be fair but some family parties must have got together as there was upwards of 30 birds high in the Silver Birches. Further on in the wood I could hear more young Woodpeckers and a JAY glided into the undergrowth in front of me.
Back out in the fields and there were loads of deer tracks around the slowly dwindling pools, noticeably the size of the tracks varied suggesting may be some young were about? It was nice to catch up with YELLOWHAMMER, REED BUNTING, SKYLARK and NIGHTINGALE as I headed back to the car. I also saw 3 Small Tortoiseshell this morning, a couple of years ago I only saw one all year at the castle so hopefully this is a sign that they have faired much better of late.
Small Tortoiseshell

I thought this was a female Common Blue but now I'm not sure?

I did walk again this morning but didn't really add anything different, the LITTLE OWL was a few fence posts along from where it sat yesterday and 7 CANADA GEESE flew over the lake, one blue damselfly went by unidentified and a Large Red Damselfly was resting by the small pond in the wood where there were lots of empty larva cases of different sizes on various reed stems.


ShySongbird said...

A most enjoyable post Alan and lovely photos. So nice to see the Nuthatch, I have only ever managed one rather poor record shot of one. I love the GSW peeking out of the hole!

It does seem a good year for Ox-eye Daisies which is good news for the insects of course.

I would say it is a female Common Blue rather than a Brown Argus but I'm sure Greenie will know for sure.

I have noticed here that the Small Tortoiseshell has done much better in the last two or three years which is encouraging.

Warren Baker said...

I'd love a Crossbill to visit my patch Alan, a patch tick :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi ShySongbird, Thank you, It was nice to get back out on the patch, the meadow with Ox-eye Daisies is really nice, I'm waiting for the Greater Knapweed to come out and add another colour to the proceedings.

I wasn't 100% on the butterfly but I think it was a bit big for Brown Argus maybe. It's great to have the Small Tortoiseshells back, I had 7 or 8 today on a walk with my wife :-)

Ken. said...

Hi Alan.
Nice photo of the juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker sticking it's head out of the hole.
Nice photo's to go with it, also the Crossbill was a good spot.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Warren, the Crossbills breed a couple of miles away at most, which means I pick up the odd one here and there :-)

Hi Ken, You had some great Heath Fritillary photos the other day :-) It was nice to see the woodpeckers and they were right on the path!