Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A garden surprise

Wednesday 2nd May 2012
Cool with northerly breeze, overcast and misty with some drizzle.

It was another Nightingale survey early this morning, I visited the Clowes Wood area for the 2nd visit. This time I set off at 4.30am, still dark but before long there was enough light to see ok. Tawny Owls were calling, a Woodcock flew over the path 'roding', there were loads of Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, a few Whitethroats, Goldcrests, Coal Tits, 1 Siskin, 3 Redpolls and a lively flock of 10 Crossbills. They landed briefly and all the birds I could see appeared to be juveniles. After 3 1/2 hours round the woods I had recorded 9 singing Nightingales.

There was a lovely surprise waiting in the garden when I got home. I went in the kitchen for a cuppa, looked out the window and saw a male Bullfinch on the ground. I ran to grab the camera, but on my return there was no sight of him. However, a movement in the small apple tree caught my eye, the female Bullfinch. She sat still just long enough for a photo, taken through the double glazing, but it's still nice to see.

After lunch I took a trip to Chambers Wall in the hope of a few migrants, but the north wind looks to have slowed spring down again. I walked up to the beach and sat on the shingle in a bit of shelter to watch the sea, but apart from 5 Gannets flying east there was nothing about. A male Wheatear flew west and landed a little away, there were Shelduck, Gadwall and Shoveler in Coldharbour, a few Yellow Wagtails out in the fields, and the usual selection of waders around. I did have nice views of a male Cuckoo, and back at the car park there were 2 Lesser Whitethroats, as well as many Common Whitethroats.

This afternoon I had just finished cutting the grass when 2 Crossbills flew over calling, which was nice.


  1. If I did jealousy I would be very very jealous I havent seen a Bullfinch in ages, but I dont do jealousy I am just very envious. Nice shot through the window, All my piccies are made that way now as I very rarely get out, and visits are even rarer now we have a drought.

    1. I haven't seen a Bullfinch in the garden for many years. I see them occasionally in the woods near the house, but even there they are quite scarce. It was quite a shock to the brightly coloured male on the grass just outside the window!