On Wednesday 18th Interlopus Shenstonus Tescosus found some Wheatears on my patch, and I was grateful to be able to add them to my patch year list when I swung by post work. It was 2 days earlier than an almost identical sighting I had had last year.
So to the weekend. On Saturday with the weather being as it was, ie cold and heavy showers, I took the dry option of a couple of hours hide squatting at Upton. Unfortunately the birding was a bit dull, save for a single Common Tern which was a year first. On the way back for lunch I stopped by the patch where 3 Green Woodpeckers were the highlight and 3 species of Lady Bird, 7 Spot and 2 Spot as well as a Harlequin were noted. I also saw my first patch Orange-tip, a male.
|Pesky, thankfully only a couple, and loads of 7 Spot|
In the afternoon, just as I was losing my birding mojo, I got a call from a local birder who had a Grey Partridge in view in a field down the road. As I had repeatedly failed to connect with this species I dashed over to secure a look at the bird, a lifer for me.My thanks go to him,but being that time of year, I'll say no more about location.
Sunday, I headed to the Wyre. On leaving the car a Male Blackcap showed well, and within a few yards Nuthatch, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warbler had all been heard. Next up a Raven kronked then circled over showing it's diamond tail. A Couple of early rising Buzzards glided over as I progressed down to the farm.I was on the look out ( or more likely hear out ) for Tree pipit, Wood Warbler and Cuckoo but by the time I reached the farm I was 0 for 3. However I lingered here on the lookout for Redstart and after 20 minutes I heard a repeated 'tuck' type alarm call located to a stunning male Redstart perched at the top of a dead tree. He only showed for 30 seconds or so, but a real beauty and I was well satisfied with my patience.
The dark clouds were gathering so I decided not to walk the stream, but returning to the car lingered for a couple of Willow Warbler pics and a Video of one singing it's distinctive song. I was nearly back at the Car when I stopped in my tracks, hearing the tell tale 'spinning coin ' call of Wood Warbler ! As I scanned the woods it was evident 2 were calling in the area, and eventually I got onto the lovely green plumage and watched the bird do his little shiver as he called and flitted from branch to branch.
|Willow Warbler. Wyre|
It was starting to rain , so I called it a day there and headed back to my own patch. I settled in a spot and spent a happy half hour allowing the birds to come to me. A pair of Linnets showed well, with nesting material in their mouths. My first patch Blackcap, tackked and made a welcome appearance. Throughout the period, a Chiffchaff flitted about, huiting and occasionally giving his more trademark song, at times coming within a few feet of me.
|Chiffchaff amongst the buds..Barnet brook|