Monday, 6 May 2013

The last couple of weeks

With only about four outings over the last couple of weeks there hasn't been oads to report but here are a few bits. A GARDEN WARBLER (82) turned up on the 24th April and now there are several singing around the castle grounds, generally competing with the Blackcaps. My next patch visit proper wasn't until May 4th, I walked for 90 minutes from 3pm-4.30pm, which actually proved very productive. Pretty much the first bird I saw was a RED KITE (83), it drifted north, these birds turn up anytime from February to mid May but seldom later in the year. As I watched this a COMMON SWIFT (84) came into view a really good start. I didn't walk far but sat and watched across the valley a few LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS went through and COMMON WHITETHROATS and SKYLARKS could be heard constantly, whilst sitting listening to these a REED WARBLER (85) started singing from rares hedge, Stephen had reported one earlier in the day probably the same bird. May 5th and a full 4 hours or more on patch produced 50 species but nothing  new for the year highlights were PEREGRINE (picked up first by Stephen), LITTLE OWL, NIGHTINGALE, COMMON BUZZARD (5 together at once), 24 SWALLOWS heading north in small groups, REDPOLL, MARSH TIT and SPARROWHAWK. Also at last there were a few more insects about, 3 LARGE RED DAMSELFLIES, 5 PEACOCKS, 2 GREEN VEINED WHITE, 1 SMALL TORTOISESHELL, 8 ORANGE TIP and 1 BRIMSTONE, with a PALMATE NEWT, I think, representing the amphibiians this week it was quite an enjoyable walk. With flowers out through the woods now as well I couldn't resist a few Bluebell pics.
I did also venture off patch on the 28th April with a morning at Dungeness, it wasn't a spectacular morning for this location but I was pleased to catch-up with a few birds I hadn't seen for a while. Highlights here were HOBBY, WHEATEAR (3), WILLOW WARBLER, CUCKOO, WHIMBREL, RAVEN plus hearing booming BITTERN, always good to hear. The pics today are pretty random and probably too many of them but here goes.


Reed Bunting - Dungeness

Large Red Damselfly

Little Owl


Palmate Newt (I think?)

Random Tulip in Garden!

Mute Swans - Dungeness

Oysercatcher - Dungeness


Marc Heath said...

Cracking Large Red Damselfly shot, one I would like to find at Reculver but very rare there.

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Good to see you are managing to get out , and getting some good species too .
Like the in flight Oystercatcher .
Yes , your newt is a Palmate , a male , identified by the filament at the and of it's tail .
A male LRDamselfly too .

Κωστής Τζαγκαράκης said...

Great photographs again.

Warren Baker said...

Cant have too many pics Alan, especially good 'uns like yours :-)

Maria said...

Wow these are awesome shots of spring: starting with the Red Damselfly, the swans, and the Bluebell flowers: lovely!

Tammy said...

Love that Little Owl! beautiful shots of the Bluebells too!

ShySongbird said...

A lovely collection Alan. Beautiful photos! Particularly nice to see the newt and the damsel and those lovely Bluebells.

Helma said...

Really nice this series Alan, wamt I see a nice variety of animals. The red dragonfly is anyway a picture, but I am quite envious of your owl lol .... Also you reed bunting is very beautiful on. Nice bluebells (blue bell) but ok your other photos are very beautiful to see. Really weather just enjoy the various aspects of nature :-)