Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Piedy Fly

I’m rapidly running out of time now with all the loose ends to tidy before the holiday, so finding a time slot to bird gets more difficult. With just a couple of hours spare I looked in at Fluke Hall followed by a jaunt from Lane Ends to Pilling Water.

Fluke Hall started well with a Tree Pipit at the end of Wheel Lane that called twice as it flew up to the overhead telephone wires but briefly only before it continued further east down Fluke Hall Lane. The trees and hedge in the sheltered garden here at the junction often turn up one or two birds, nothing spectacular of course, but I added 2 Whitethroats and a singing Willow Warbler to my first notebook page. Remiss of me perhaps but I don’t count the many Tree Sparrows “chip-chipping” away from the hedgerow and nest boxes along here in the little copse and the start of Fluke Hall wood as I know BD has the figures at his fingertips. I saw a Great-spotted Woodpecker going about its business on some of the rotten looking trees and watched a Kestrel skirt the woodland edge towards the sea wall before it perched up on the obligatory fence post.

Great-spotted Woodpecker


I hoped to walk the Ridge Farm track so parked up at my spot near the field entrance west of Fluke. Looking towards Ridge Farm I could see I had been beaten there several times over by non birders with rampaging four legged friends so cut my losses early by watching both another Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat close to the car and listening to a Blackcap somewhere in the nearby gardens.

The wildfowler’s pools were quiet without the big gang of Redshank that favoured them lately, with four only today, a Grey Heron, a Little Egret and a single Common Sandpiper. Singing Reed Bunting and Willow Warbler represented the smaller birds within the confines of the willows but a single Mistle Thrush is not common there and is almost certainly one of the resident Broadfleet birds. Along the tide line I found a little party of 4 Wheatears and a larger gang of 18 Meadow Pipits, plus 3 of the now regular Skylark.

I spent some worthwhile time at Lane Ends. Warbler wise I counted 3 Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, a Blackcap and not before time, a returned Reed Warbler singing from the reeds nearest the road. There’s nothing quite like a Reed Warbler song – unless it’s a Great Reed Warbler of course, which sounds and looks like a Reed Warbler on steroids.

Reed Warbler

I was on the sea wall near the gate when I heard the Pied Flycatcher singing; It took me a second or two to realise what the song was because it’s one of those birds that comes around every nine months; go around the nest boxes, listen to the Piedy Fly's song and calls, ring the young, then forget about the species until next May comes around with no guarantee of seeing one on the coast beforehand. Anyway it flit through a warming spot in the canopy a couple of times before disappearing over towards the pool again. There were no other birders to tell for their lists, so I left the bird alone.

Pied Flycatcher

For a few weeks I had suspicions of 2 pairs of Little Grebe, confirmed today, as was breeding Reed Bunting when I watched the male return to a nest. I watched a pair of Long-tailed Tit quietly to and fro along the tree line but apart from their relative silence they didn’t give much away.

Reed Bunting

Surprise of the morning was probably the pair of Grey Partridge I disturbed in the edge of the wood behind the mound, as they then flew to hide down near the roadway, croaking as they fled. Overhead I saw my first Swifts of the year, 2 of them higher than the few perhaps migrant Swallows that seemed to be flying south into the wind this morning.


The incoming tide produced a little interest in the shape of small numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 8 Whimbrel that lingered on the shore for a while to give excellent views.


NicoleB said...

You got some real Beauties there again on your list.
I am just now finishing the one for my local area for April.
Not really much and less as time progresses, I think.
Oh well ;)

Love that Pied Flycatcher and the Swift and the Kestrel,... and,... well, you get my point ;)

Cheers from hot Sinai!

Unravel said...

Wow, the Pied Flycatcher is like the Narcissus Flycatcher here in Japan. They appear during this time of year to mate, to sing and to raise the chicks, then disappear just before winter begins.

Dave Lewis said...

Great Woodpecker shot!
We tried to find one during our visit, heard one once, never could locate it.
We have a reason to return to England now!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I had never seen the Spotted Woodpecker before, what a beauty he is. Have a great weekend!

Unravel said...

How are you doing?
Seems like you're a bit busy these days.
Wait to see more of your new entries!

Kelly said...

I always love seeing photos od Reed Buntings. They are so pretty. The Pied Flycarcher is so pretty too. Love the shot of the Swift as well!

Anna said...

What a nice photo of the Swift.
You have nice bird blog here.
Anna :)

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