Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Mega Day.

Started my patch walk this morning at 9 am and there were still plenty of species singing around the woodland car park. Amongst the sounds of Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Blackcap my ears locked onto a new addition to the year list .. a Garden Warbler, high in the leafy canopy belting out its warble that can so often be confused with a Blackcap.

Mistle Thrush, Magpie, Carrion Crow and Jackdaws were spotted in the horse paddock while a Canada Goose was enjoying a late lie in at the pond. Moorhen, Coot and Mallard were also logged but no sign today of any Mandarin Ducks.

The Grey Heron was on its usual perch eying up a tasty morsel in the water below. 

Heading out around the Great Pond I found another Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, plenty of Common Whitethroats, Long-tailed Tits still carrying nesting material (I thought they were early nesters?), male Reed Bunting calling from the waterside willows plus lots of Orange-tips and Brimstone on the wing. From here I entered the main woodland to find some shade while listening to Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Suddenly everything went quiet and I'm still not sure what prompted me to look skywards through a small gap in the leafy canopy but the size, shape, pale underparts and barring immediately triggered a certain species name in my brain. No time for a picture ... just get the bins up and confirm the supposition. This very chunky Accipiter slowly glided overhead, turning its head and allowed me to see the distinctive head markings plus the yellow base to the bill and its red eye glinted in the sunlight as it skimmed the tree tops. Yes ... an adult male GOSHAWK.

Tonight I located some illustrations from a recent birding publication that clearly show both the bulky view I saw (see above) and its similarity with a female Sparrowhawk (see below) with which this species is so often confused.
I quickly retraced my steps out of the wood to the open grassland but there was no sign in the sky just silence so obviously it had continued its purposeful journey somewhere .. probably eastwards. 

 Blue Tit sunbathing.

Back out across the grassland heath I listened to a single Willow Warbler but no sign or sound of any Lesser Whitethroats yet. Interestingly the numbers of singing Willows appear to have dropped considerably in the last week so maybe a few have moved on. Another addition the patch year list were Linnets.

About an hour after I returned home another 'mega' flew in via UPS from Texas, USA.

This is a most delightful framed coloured pencil drawing of a Blue Jay by texwisgirl, a talented artist, which I won in a giveaway on her blog  The Run*A*Round Ranch Report. So once again many thanks Theresa for making this a special 'mega' day.  FAB.


  1. Wow! You don't mess around! :)

    glad i could help round out your bird-spotting day! :)

  2. Hi texwisgirl. Most appropriate that you should be the first here tonight.
    Good to see you have another Blue species in residence. Cheers FAB.

  3. Good shooting Frank and all about the Goshawk, fantastic.

  4. Wow sounds like an amazing day Frank. I'd love to see a Goshawk.

  5. Looks like you had a great day Frank,well done.

  6. A good day Frank! Warblys and everything!

  7. Goodness, that WAS a mega day! Love that Blue Jay sketch too.

  8. Congratulations again on your win! :)) What a lovely prize.

  9. Great day Frank super species count and that Goshawk really put the icing on the cake well done.

  10. What a wonderful outing ... and loved the bluejay artwork you shared. Your previous post with the Godwit in flight is wonderful as well.

  11. Goshawk! Great find Frank. I still await the return of the Garden Warbler.

  12. Thanks Bob.

    Hi Adam. It's the closest I've ever been to one ... albeit a brief encounter.

    Hi JRand Sue. Cheers John. Always fun to be out and about.

    Hi Dave. Yes, a very nice mixture.

    Hi Mona. It sure was and they don't come around too often.

    Thanks Lois. Yes I was chuffed to win such a delightful piece of artwork.

    Cheers Monty. A few more days like that throughout 2011 would be great.

    Hi Debbie M. Thanks very much.

    Hi Warren. The GW's have to be out there somewhere ... keep looking.

  13. What a cracking day Frank.
    I bet seeing that Goshawk was a great feeling.
    And what a talented lady Theresa is.

  14. Hi Frank,
    What an amazing find, to see a Goshawk! A truly stunning bird that I was lucky enough to see recently in Thetford Forest, Norfolk! The top of the food chain where birds are concerned!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  15. Yeh looks like you got a great birding day and a great award! Well done on the drawing conquest ;-)

  16. Hi Keith. Yeah, a bit of a heart-stopper .. lol. She certainly is just that.

    Hi John. I never for one moment thought this species would fly over MY patch.

    Hi Chris. Enjoyable in more than one way.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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