Monday, 3 May 2021

2021 January to May

Date: January - May 2021
Some traveling Uk only
Species Highlights: 

January 01/01/2021 
Was full lockdown with exercise walks only & travel staying local, but as the normal me & Lauren did a full patch walk, with a record-breaker. Ended walk on 57 species! 
Highlights being 
29 Golden Plover, Woodcock, 124 Lapwing, Barn Owl to name a few, missing a few common species proving that one day 60 species is possible around our patch, Amazing!
The second day of the Year was a quick trip to Barrow tanks and Long-tailed Duck looking fabulous.

A flyover Red Kite checking out the tanks.

The light was fantastic and the long-staying Great Northern Diver posed perfectly

A slow February with plenty of patch walking still getting above 50 counts, this Wren singing and getting ready for spring.

The frogs returned to the pond with 40 plus counted laying plenty of spawn

Been very busy in my garden building a lean too/conservatory and treated me to a new shed come bird hide, plenty of birds came to visit.

I tried to place perches and feeders in good positions so far it's working well.

Siskin are visiting regularly with 7 birds' best count.

Evening patch walk and the Barn Owl is proving very elusive, exiting his/her nest hole with no pattern, making it hard to predict when to watch them.

A walk around the patch and a very noisy Pergreine over farm shop, watched him for 30 mins before he flew off

Kestrel numbers seemed to have increased with some walks at least 4 separate birds seen.

Still moth trapping with this Pine Beauty - Panolis flammea.

Siskin still present and getting very confident this male was about 5ft from me.

Plus very bossy!

The same morning my shed this Red Kite flew over garden, tick!

With so many birds coming to my feeders I suppose it's inevitable this Sparrowhawk made a visit, amazing to watch her hunt, spiraling around the Budlea tree until it caught a Great Tit looked at me, and flew off with its lunch, wow!

A patch walk and more disappointment at Bath Spa, Newton St Loe, apparently ever 10 years they clear the sludge from the top lake, never seen this before, on this scale and in breeding season too, Mallard and Grey heron doing their best after the Dam work last year almost the same time, let's hope it can recover and nothing happens 2022!

Our pond spawn is mammoth this year!

Lockdown lifted slightly giving us an opportunity to travel and Weymouth it was, with some great birding, Lauren spotted this Red-rumped Swallow, a tweet minutes earlier and eagle-eyed Lauren spotted it above van as we returned.

With fantastic views of 4 Ring Ouzel on Barleycrates Lane was a top day.

A bit more local Penduline tits at Weston Super Mare.

Yet another patch walk a Snake's Head Fritillary in full bloom around Newton St Loe

After the long walk, I was returning when this Pipit flew and landed on wires near 12 o'clock lane, thinking mmm weird looks like a Tree Pipit another joined it and then flew off, later confirmation and Tree Pipit it Was!! 
Tick number 107 for patch and 74-year tick.

Another week and Sailsbury plain, Wheatear beginning to arrive also such posers

The plain always good for Hares, Corn Bunting groups of 20+ feeding along with Yellowhammer.

The main reason we went was the Great Bustard and luck put us on a large group.

I mentioned earlier about my new shed and was very sad as I had some Zebra spiders on it but took the old shed away in the van and lost the Zebra's but while doing my new job, Stone Mason noticed this cracker on my van I quickly potted him and brought him home, placing him on his new home! seen him a few times since.

Looks like he's doing well!

Progress on Newton Park Lake is slow, not sure what this means for Dragonflies this year I wait with anticipation.

Butterfly season is now underway this my first Grizzled Skipper along with Dingy Skipper from Axbridge hill.


A big trip to Devon/Dorset was next Starting at Yarner wood and the first Lifer Lesser Spotted Woodpecker saw at least 4 birds hearing more around the woodland.

Next Slapton-Ley and A Uk tick Black Crowned Night Heron...not showing well at only 10 foot from us but totally hidden in reeds, my rule has always been if I can seen the eye its a tick!

A few miles away Ring-necked duck

Stopped at Brixham for Purple Sandpiper lots of cruise liners along the Devon & Dorset coastline, due to lockdown.

Labrador Bay and Cirl Buntings

On the way home, we stopped at Lyme Regis a fabulous day but by the time we got home 14 hours and 400 miles, worth it!

Eider at the Cobb

Turnstone on the Cobb

Whitethroat returned to Patch.

Butterflies were slow as the weather overnight is very cold with frost and temperatures still around 2c most nights.
But Battlesbury hill delivered with Green Hairstreak's shinning in the sunshine.

Another Long trip , this time to Tenby for Wally the Walrus 600kg of beast!

Living on the Tenby Lifeboat ramp and only moving when they have a shout, the crew have resulted to air horns to move this lost soul.

Govan Head for some Chough action.

Kittiwake at the Mumbles, Swansea, love these noisy birds, on the pier they seem to be doing extremely well with them flying all around us and nesting on every available space.

Another new moth The Streamer, again moth numbers very slow due to temperature but very pleased to be getting a few.

Our first Large Red Damselfly has emerged on the pond.

A visit to Chipping Sodbury Common and my first Lesser Whitethroat of the year, temp was low but with sunny breaks at a loss for somewhere to go and 15 miles from Rodborough Common thought I'd go for a visit more of a recce really.

Small Heath, Small Copper I was feeling very please I had come then I spotted a Duke of Burgundy then 2, the cloudy cold conditions let me get plenty of shots and as the cloud came over the Duke just perched and waited.

My 17th species of the year, going for the full set again (apart for Cryptic Wood White)
41 Left, last year ended on 57 species so all to play for!

Some good birds were arriving on Portland so a spur-of-the-moment trip, Turtle Dove, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Fly to name a few, difficult photography as light and distance always against us but a great day.

Little Tern, Ferrybridge.

Bearded Tit at Radipole always a treat, while watching House Martin and Swift overhead first of the year.

Plenty of Sedge, Reed Bunting, and Reed Warbler singing from deep in the Reeds.

The last visit of the day was to Lodmoor to end a fantastic day, Brent goose final tick of the day, this Little Egret last picture of the day. 
Now I'm up to date and I'll keep you posted on the Birds, Butterflies, and Moths that arrive for the rest of the year.

Wayne Year Bird List: 143
Lauren Year Bird List: 142

Patch Total Stands At 74

Thanks For Looking! 
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