Sunday, 17 April 2016

Barn Swallows Return!

Date: 17th April 2016
Location: Newton St Loe Circular - Full Patch
Weather: Blue Sky, Warm, Light Wind
Other Species: 12+ Goldfinch, 3 Bullfinch, 4 Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Jay, 7+ Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 2+ Skylark, 3 Barn Swallow, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Coal Tit, 3 Blackcap, 5 Grey Heron, 2 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Green Woodpecker, 4 Mute Swan (1 on nest), Mallard (16 ducklings total), Teal, Long-Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, 1 Tawny Owl (calling), 1 Kestrel, 3 Linnet, 5 Yellowhammer, 2 Collared Dove - Of Note - Total Species - 44
Mammals: 1 Hare, 4 Roe Deer, 1 Fox
Butterflies: 1 Orange-Tip (Male), 1 Small White, 7 Peacock, 5 Small Tortoiseshell

Observation: A week until our last patch walk, and as blue skies were forecast off we headed. Through Bath Mill as normal, we were off to a good start as 3 Buzzard were circling on thermals along with a Male Sparrowhawk!

Onto the 'Dog Walk' where a Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were calling over each other. Plenty of butterflies on the lane up to Seven Acre, mostly Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell, also a single Small White (first on patch this year).

At the Village, 2 Barn Swallows have returned and were busy catching flies, so nice to see them back and hopefully we get as many as previous years.

At the Village Square, always nice to see our House Sparrows, as they have declined over the year.

A overhead Jackdaw collecting nesting materials, unsure whether he could even see with the amount he has!

At the 'Workshop Covert' one of the 3 Blackcaps (Male) singing proudly in the trees.

The Heronry still has 3 Grey Heron's on nests all were sunning themselves, no young ones yet, but it can't be long!

At the Lake, the first of this years ducklings were present, 2 groups, one with 6 ducklings and the second with 10 duckings.

Top Lake, the pair of Mute Swans are still on nest, unsure on how many eggs as it was sleeping.

We carried on walking out towards Stanton Prior. Not many new birds here apart from Jackdaws, Rooks and another Chiffchaff until we briefly saw a Fox in the distant it ran off into the hedges and then... This stunning Hare came and stood in front of us!

We snapped away and off it went, we came across it again as we were walking but it didn't stay for long that time. Always amazing to see Hare's on our patch!

A pair of Chiffchaff were stunning in the blossom tree so we sat and got some pictures.

As we moved on, we heard a distant Tawny Owl calling, always nice in daylight!

At Home Farm, a fly-past Sparrowhawk and a hovering Kestrel added to our count, in the hedges a small flock of 5 Yellowhammer and 3 Linnet, low numbers of Yellowhammer today so hopefully the Females are on nest.

Also a single Barn Swallow at Home Farm of note.

Back at the Clay's Bottom, a Buzzard was being mobbed by 2 Crows, they later left the Buzzard after it landed in the trees.

As we returned home, our pair of Collared Dove's took out patch walk total to 44, not a record but a lovely walk and great to see our Barn Swallows back!
House Martin's and Swift's will be next!

Thanks For Looking !

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