13 April 2008

Four more species...

Sunrise from Swarkestone Bridge.

Another early start to the day today, up at 5:45AM and out the door by 6:15AM to go birding again. The early start didn’t quite pay off this time though as I missed the bird I was after. A female Ring Ouzel had been reported near Ticknall, South Derbyshire, yesterday but by this morning it had moved on. It’s a year tick missed but it’s my own fault, I should have gone for it yesterday as passage Ring Ouzel tend not to hang around too long in Spring!

The morning wasn’t a total loss though as I still managed to locate four new birds for my “10-Mile List”. The first was a superb male Northern Wheatear that was in the same field as the Ring Ouzel should have been. I would imagine that the bird had arrived overnight as there had been no reports of it yesterday and it was also looking somewhat subdued for much of the time. It wasn’t until the sun had been on its back for almost an hour that the bird started to move around the field and began to feed.

The second tick of the day also came whilst looking for the Ring Ouzel, a male Yellowhammer that was singing from the top of a nearby hedge. The “Little-bit-of bread-and-no-cheese” call of the bird gave its location away; the stunningly bright yellow plumage made it impossible to miss. At 8:00AM I gave up on the Ouzel and decided to move on. Species number 90 and 91 were on my list so I wasn’t too concerned about dipping out on the moorland blackbird. At least that’s what I kept telling myself!

Having already visited Willington Gravel Pits five times this Spring I decided that today I would give it a miss and go for a walk around Barrow-upon-Trent pits instead. So far, there have been no reports of anything “interesting” at Willington today so I’m hoping that I made the right choice.

Looking back towards Barrow-upon-Trent Church.

Of the 45 species seen at Barrow two were new for the year, Red-legged Partridge and White Wagtail. Now, before everyone bombards me with e-mails I know that White Wagtail is the nominate race of our Pied Wagtail and is NOT on the BOU list of British Species but, this is my game and I’ll play it by MY rules! The bird recording programme I use has White Wagtail on it, so I tick it! I see it as compensation for missing the Ring Ouzel.

Other birds of note at Barrow included 12 Mute Swan, 6 Greylag Geese, a pair of Gadwall, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Swallow, 1 Northern Wheatear, a male Blackcap and a male Yellowhammer.

At 10:30AM I made the decision to call it a day and head for home. I could quite easily have driven a few miles down the road to Willington but, no doubt, the place will still be there next week!

My “10-Mile List” has now reached 93 species.

No comments:

Post a Comment