Monday, April 27, 2015

Staying Cool But A Nest Or Two

This morning was spent looking for migrant birds but some of those I found were not the normal species associated with late April. 

There was another frost and a layer of ice on the car, not ideal conditions for early morning warblers or little brown jobs so I decided to leave the bush bashing until the air warmed and motored to Conder Green instead. Later I learnt that snow fell in Blackburn, not a million miles from here.

The high tides of winter and spring have filled the pool again so that there’s still very little mud and too much water to attract any numbers of waders. So most if not all of the morning’s waders and wildfowl were in the tidal channels or on the marsh. 

There was a good selection without an enormous number by way of 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 2 Snipe, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Teal, 1 Wigeon, 10 Tufted Duck and 1 Little Egret. Through April there has been something of a passage of Tufted Ducks at Conder Green but now many have departed until Autumn. 

Tufted Duck

At Fluke Hall car park were 3 Whitethroats, 2 males in song and a much quieter female, the female already the object of attention in being chased around the hedgerow by one the males. Just then a Corn Bunting called but when I looked across a party of Corn Buntings had sat up on bramble and tall grass stems. In fact there were 14 or 15 of them but within a few seconds they departed north over the sea wall and lost to view, an unusual bit of Corn Bunting migration so late in April. But then it has been a cool, slow and rather delayed start to summer with yet more wind and rain to come we are told. 

There was also a noticeable increase in Wood Pigeons compared to recent days, in particular a huge flock of about 550+ feeding enthusiastically in a few recently ploughed fields. When once or twice they all took flight the scene resembled one of wintertime and not Spring. Woodpigeons are known to move around in large flocks in winter in search of food and it’s probably fair to say that these were migrants of sorts but wherever they’re going they will be somewhat late in setting up home. 


The pair of Mistle Thrush at Fluke Hall have been around all winter but now I’ve found the nest - high on the bough of a beech tree where the female sits on the eggs while the male mostly keeps out of the way. 

Mistle Thrush

Also in or about the wood, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Greeenfinch, 2 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 2 Stock Dove, 1 Jay, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker and lots of Blackbirds. Two Greylags continue to frequent the pool within the wood where they conduct themselves in a very quiet and unobtrusive manner, and I’m sure they are “at it”. 


A walk along the sea wall required a jacket in the cool, some might say cold westerly breeze, where a single Wheatear, a few Linnets and singing Skylarks proved to be the only passerines. I tracked down one of the pairs of Skylarks and found their nest of three eggs. 


Skylark nest

There are more cool birds soon from Another Bird Blog. Don’t miss them.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


TexWisGirl said...

just love your blackbirds. and the skylark shot is awesome!

Linda said...

Phil, these are gorgeous!

Chris Rohrer said...

The Skylark and nest are amazing. I love cool morning outings. This weekend I had a change of heart in the same way. When the weather turned from sun to rain, I realized my birding would change:) No forest hikes.....instead a shorebird exploration:)

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful shots!

mick said...

Great photos - I especially like the Mistle Thrush on the nest high on the bough. The weather sounds terrible!! How do birds and people manage in temperatures like that?? Oh well, I guess some would find out temps out here too hot!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, our weather has not been much better. Cooler temps than we normally receive close to May.. Love your birds and photos. The Skylark is awesome.. Happy Birding!

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful bird photography ~ love the skylark and her nest ~

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Stuart Price said...

Frost in April! Hope that has finished by the time I get there next month...........

Adam Jones said...

Good find with the Skylark nest Phil. Never easy to spot.

Christian Perrin said...

Have to agree with everyone about that wonderful Skylark, well done!

I know the Wood Pigeons are a common bird but it would be spectacular to see so many rising at once from a field.

Interesting how the coming weather events can be foretold by close attention to the wildlife. Here in Australia, certain desert birds appearing on the coast usually means a bad drought is imminent.

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!

Adam Tilt said...

Great set of images and congrats on finding the Mistle Thrush nest.

Margaret Adamson said...

Marvellous to have found those 2 nests so how you can keep your eye on them adn see the birds progress.I would love to see a Spotted Redshank, it is many yearssince I have seen one here.

Findlay Wilde said...

Well done on tracking down the Skylark nest, and a great picture of the Skylark as well.

Marie C said...

Fantastic bird sightings! Love the nest!

David Gascoigne said...

Great shot of the Skylark nest with the eggs. When I was a kid I collected eggs and they have never lost their fascination for me.

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