Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Early Birding at Last!

I finally re-organised my sleep pattern in order to do some early birding on Bookham Common this morning and was greeted by the songs of Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap and Chiffchaff even before I had started walking.
Chiffchaff perched up high as usual.
Customising my ears to the various songs emenating all around me I finally picked up on the scatchy call of a Common Whitethroat (2010 first) followed shortly thereafter by the rattling 'tett-tett-tett-tett' call of a Lesser Whitethroat (2010 first) who appeared and then disappeared just as quickly. In the background an unmistakeable songster invaded my senses prompting me to investigate and confirm my first sighting for this year of a Nightingale. This individual moved to and from four different singing locations during the next 15 minutes and only allowed very brief glimpses. A little further on I  heard another strongly singing from a regularly inhabited territory. [Click on the species highlighted in RED for a link to their songs].
Song Thrush
Kestrel stopped by for a brief rest from hunting for its breakfast.
While attempting to get closer to a another Blackcap and then a Garden Warbler (2010 first) I noticed another of the local inhabitants standing absolutely motionless behind me and obviously watching my every movement. Managed a few quick shots before this Roe Deer decided to bound away into the undergrowth. Other sightings included Wren, Sparrowhawk, Jay, Jackdaw, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Canada Geese, Mallard, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a male Bullfinch plus the usual Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. Once again a Cuckoo was also heard calling some distance away.
With the ever present Song Thrushes seeking out higher perches I departed for home after a glorious few early hours plus four additions to this years list.  FAB.


  1. Just beautiful. I enjoyed your morning walk commentary and images. Thank you.

    Lois in Cincinnati

  2. Sounds like a great morning, and you've caught a few early birds too - I haven't heard lesser whitethroat or garden warbler yet, and I'll have to do a trip to Bookham to hear the nightingales!

  3. What an amazing thing to see the Roe just behind you Frank and you got a nice shot as well.

  4. That's a nice pic of the deer.
    L.T Tits seem to have become very prolific.

  5. Well worth getting up early Frank,looks like it paid off.
    Great bonus,fab pics.

  6. Hi Frank,
    Well done on your first for the year birds... Quite nice to see new birds around, but the rod deer story is fantastic.. Sometime nature is also observing you ;-) Beautiful pictures you got... The singing song trush is superb.

  7. Great shots of the Roe Deer Frank, and another beautiful Walk.

  8. What a cracking day Frank, and 4 additions to the year list too.
    Love that shot of the Roe Deer.

  9. Hi Lois. I'm delighted you came along for the early am stroll.

  10. Roy. Not sure who was more surprised!!

    Mark. You won't have to walk far from 100 Pound Bridge for any of the songsters.

    Razboynik. Cheers Andy. Despite the bad winter most of the Tits seem to have come thro' extreemly well.

    JRandSue. Thanks John..I will try to get back into the early am habit.

    Chris. The Thrush was one I was hoping to capture BUT the Deer was a bonus.

    Monty. Thanks very much.

    Keith. Just a few early hours but worth the effort. Thanks.

  11. MAGNIFICIENT photo of the wonderful Deer in the woods....looking so sweet just directly in your direction...!!

    We have got them in our woods too...; I am so glad that they are protected!

    Have a wonderful week, Frank!!!!
    ciao ciao elvira

  12. The little Deer is really good, puts mine to shame Frank.

  13. It's so nice to get an early start when birding-makes a big difference I think.Love that close-up shot of the deer.I'm not familiar with some of the birds you saw which makes it interesting.

  14. Quite a lovely Post Frank and the surprise deer, have had those before. Your image of the Thrush is really a very nice one too!!

  15. Looks like you had a nice morning! Really like that last photo.

  16. It looks like the Early Birder gets the bird instead of the worm!

  17. Loved the Dear pic... :)

    Angad Achappa

  18. Elvira. Yes, a magical moment to savour.

    Bob B. Sometimes a little luck helps and the subject was standing very still!

    Larry. Glad to share a few different species just for you.

    Mary HC. Thank you.

    Mona. If only every morning was that good!

    Kathie. Sure did!

    Angad. Cheers.

  19. There is plenty of dawn chorus around now but of course dawn keeps getting earlier.
    Great shot of the deer in its natural habitat and I also like the last Song Thrush photo. Don't hear any here this year though I am deafened every morning by a Mistle Thrush which is proving to be very elusive to photo.

  20. Midmarsh John. Yes the awakening hour gets earlier every day. I haven't seen a Mistle for some while and they do tend to hide away more than the Song Thrush.

  21. Looks like you had a great day with your early start. Love the song thrushes.

  22. eileeninmd. Yes, definitely work the early start and the Song Thrush is a particular favourite.


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