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Monday, April 20, 2009

20th April

Orange tips were out in area 29, feeding on Garlic Mustard.

The first swarm of the year.

A cold start to the day, turning warm and sunny by mid morning, with the chilly north-east wind dropping in the afternoon.

Little Grebe:
Four pairs on the lake.
Red Kite:
Two bird flew NE at 3.55pm, I say flew but they really glided, using the headwind to maintain altitude.
Common Buzzard: Two singles one at 3.50pm seen by Dave. He phoned to see if I was at home as the bird was heading in my direction. At the time I was on the other side of the park in area 29 checking to see if any migrants were showing, now that the workers had left the yard. On hearing the news I rushed out on to the open space, but was unable to pick the Buzzard up. Luckily though I managed to jam in to the above Kites. The second bird was picked up thermaling high above the open spaces heading slowly westwards. While watching, a very bizarre event happened, the bird then stooped at an object that was hard to identify. It looked like a Swift but it wasn't flapping and appeared almost stationary, possibly turning in sharp circles. The Buzzard struck it but didn't lock on, it came around again but didn't attempt another strike and continued on its journey the prey item did very little. It may have been killed instantly, it was to high to make out and my neck was now beginning to suffer. The event had taken place almost directly overhead. I was then unable to relocate it when I tried again as the cloud had moved and the sky above was blue.
Swallow: Four birds flew north.
Yellow Wagtail: One flew west at 10.10am.
Willow Warbler: Two birds present.
Chiffchaff: Two birds singing, in area 1 and 29.
Blackcap: 7 singing males.

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