Friday, 12 April 2013

You've got sun; I've got rain!

Friday 12 April

Heard that there were Waxwings in Bourne yesterday so I popped over before going on to Rutland Water.  Straight to the "mistle toe tree" mentioned on the Lincs Bird report where I did find Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Common Starling, Jackdaw, Goldfinch and Dunnock in the said tree - but, alas, no Waxwings.  So retraced my steps, or car journey in this case, back to Stamford and on to Rutland Water where, already, a light drizzle was falling and the promise of a sunnier afternoon couple with heavy showers.

Seeing how much water there was, I decided to check out the Information Centre, the nearby feeding station and the Manton Bay entrance stream but first to the South Arm where, at worst, I would be able to check out the water from the car if the heavens opened.  Tufted Duck, Mallard and Wigeon quickly noted along with a pair of Mute Swans and both Greylag and Egyptian Goose.  A few Coots and a couple of Little Egrets along with the same number of Cormorants plus about forty resting Black-headed Gulls.

Then it was on the main entrance where I picked up Great and Blue Tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches on the feeders with scavenging Blackbirds and Dunnocks below.  Loads of Jackdaws about along with a good number of Pheasants of both sexes with the males looking particularly handsome along with their navy-coloured "stick up ears" and vivid red cheek wattles.  Even the females looked most splendid in their delicate shade of fawn.  Meanwhile, on the water in front of the Centre I added a handful of Gadwall, a pair of Shelduck plus both Little and Great Crested Grebe.  Only a few Greylag Geese here but they were in the company of a number of Canada Geese.

Finally down to the bridge over the entrance stream from where you can look into Manton Bay and there, sorting out her nest, was the first of the returning Ospreys including, according to the information board, R5.  Now it was decidedly more than damp so I ate my packed lunch and drove back home in the hope that the weather might improve so that I can return in the morning.

Here, having opened up the emails, I noticed that you are all enjoying some lovely warm sunshine in our part of Spain and John and Jenny Wainwright managed to explore the old Loja to Ventas de Zafarraya road yesterday.  If I get back Sunday evening and find that next week is not going to be more of the same I shall be than slightly cheesed off!

John's report follows:

Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Old Zafaraya Road 11 April 2013

A very warm day, perhaps Summer is on its way!!

Hoopoe  Upupa epops  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
As we left the village - in the direction of Alhama de Granada - two Jackdaws were seen on the telegraph wires, also Corn Buntings, Bee-eaters, Southern Grey Shrike and a Common Cuckoo.  On the old road we saw Chaffinches, Great Tits, Bee-eaters, a few Woodchat Shrikes, Thekla, Short-toed and Calandra Larks, Jays, Hoopoes, Blue Tits, Cirl Buntings and Wood Pigeon.  Lots of House Sparrows at the ford - and around the farm buildings we saw White and Yellow Wagtail, Black Redstart and Lesser Kestrels.  The amount of Northern Wheatears here today is phenomenal, they are everywhere, only one Black-eared Wheatear though.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oneanthe  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
 We didn´t venture much further up the mountains but we did find a Little Owl, Sardinian Warbler and Mistle Thrush.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

On the way back to the village a Fox took its life in its paws as it hurtled across the road in front of me..

Plenty of hirundines about, mostly Barn Swallows with the odd House Martin, Pallid and two Common Swifts.

Lots of butterflies including Small Heath, Large White and Common Swallowtail, plus a few orchids namely Fan-lipped, Yellow Ophrys and Mirror.  Also three Ocellated Lizards were seen.

Very quiet but a pleasant couple of hours.

Sounds like the sort of couple of hours most of us would enjoy! 

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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