Tuesday, 30 March 2010

30/03/10 Lutley Wedge 12.30pm (10°c) Cloudy and breezy (E/SE) with rain showers

Sparrowhawk Wassell Grove 30/3/10 trying the 'wait and see' approach to hunting. With plenty of Linnets and Skylarks to look at!

Chiffchaff Wassell Grove Pools 30/3/10

A quick visit to Wassell Grove Pools this afternoon:-
3 Chiffchaffs
1 Swallow
35 Linnets
3 Common Buzzards
1 Sparrowhawk

Monday, 29 March 2010

29/03/10 Lutley Wedge 08.50am (5°c) - (11°c) Rain, grey and overcast with low cloud and mizzle, (S/SE) breeze 2-3

Very quiet this morning in some pretty grim weather! Nothing 'grounded' and nothing moving!
Wassell Grove Pools:-
2 Chiffchaff
1 Meadow Pipit >WNW

That says it all!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

28/03/10 Lutley Wedge 08.50am (5°c) - (13°c) Mostly cloudy start, clearing to sunny spells later. (W/SW) 2-3

Greenfinch Wassell Grove Pools 28/3/10

The quiet theme continues, with very little moving at all.
Visible Migration/Wassell Grove Pools:-
35 Fieldfare >N
1 Cormorant >NNE
5 Meadow Pipit >N
20 Redwing
1 Chiffchaff

Saturday, 27 March 2010

27/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.40am (8°c) - (13°c) Overcast and cloudy with some bright spells, (W/NW) wind 2-3.

Fieldfares heading North Wassell Grove Pools 27/3/10
"Highflying dots" = Starlings heading east! Wassell Grove Pools 27/3/10
A quiet day migration wise, but slightly better numbers of Meadow Pipit moving into the NW wind, and more winter thrushes and Starling moving out. Also a small influx of Redpoll.
Visible Migration/Wassell Grove Pools:-
34 Meadow Pipit >N
47 Fieldfare >N
44 Starling >E

1 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Redwing and c20 Redpoll sp

Friday, 26 March 2010

26/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.40am (7°c) - (12°c) Mostly cloudy with occasional sunny spells and rain showers late a.m. (S) wind 3-4

Lapwing Wassell Grove Pools 26/3/10

Small numbers of Meadow Pipits were going through in ones and two's this morning, but were a challenge to pick out as they were going over very high overhead due to the brisk southerly tailwind, also several flocks of Starling were seen heading east. There was some wader passage again today with a flock of Golden Plover going over high to the east at 09.22 am and a single Lapwing heading south at 09.00 am. Winter thrushes have been noticeable by their absence in the last couple of days with no Redwing or Fieldfare seen, and are starting to head back to their breeding grounds in Scandinavia and further east.

Wassell Grove Pools Visible Migration totals:-
15 Meadow Pipit >N
3 Siskin >S
88 Starling >E
5 Golden Plover >E
1 Lapwing >S
1 Cormorant >S

Also seen :- 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Raven >SW and 53 Linnet

Thursday, 25 March 2010

25/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.45am (9°c) - (14°c) Mild, bright and sunny spells with scattered high cloud, moderate (S) breeze

Male Swallow Wassell Grove 25/3/10

Wheatear Wassell Grove 25/3/10

Ravens Wassell Grove 25/3/10

3 male Wheatears were in the ploughed fields at Wassell Grove first thing this morning, though two of the Wheatears moved through very quickly and soon flew off. They had probably been grounded by the rain that pushed north overnight.
Also seen:-
1 Swallow (possibly the bird first seen on 21/3)
1 Curlew flew over at 08.53am >S/SE
1 Cormorant >W
2 Greylag Geese >SE
2 Ravens >NNE
66 Starling >E/SE
15 Meadow Pipit
1 Redpoll sp
2 Chiffchaff

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

24/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.30am (8°c) - (14°c) Mild grey and overcast with mist and low cloud, moderate (S/SE) breeze.

Curlew Wassell Grove Pools 24/3/10

Greylag Goose Wassell Grove Pools 24/3/10

1M Wheatear was at Wassell Grove Pools early this morning, and there were some good wader sightings due to the grey, damp and murky weather. 1 Curlew flew over >South towards Clent at 07.49 am and a flock of 16 Golden Plover flew >West/southwest at 0814 am. Also 1 Greylag Goose flew >Southeast at 09.25 am.
Both Curlew and Greylag are fairly scarce passage birds at Lutley, and this mornings sightings were the first this year.

Visible Migration/Wassell Grove Pools totals:-
1 Curlew >S
16 Golden Plover >WSW
1 Greylag Goose >SE
23 Fieldfare >NW
1 Redwing >NE
1 Redpoll sp >SW
6 Meadow Pipit >N and W
Also seen:- 2 Chiffchaffs

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

23/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.50am (3°c) - (11°c) Cold start mostly cloudy with some brightness, cold light (S) wind

Chiffchaff with 'pollen horn' Lutley Wedge 23/3/10

A total clear out of yesterday's Wheatears occurred in the clear conditions overnight, with only 1 male Wheatear this morning near Wassell Grove.
Visible Migration at Wassell Grove Pools totals:-
1 Goosander >SW
c15 Golden Plover >W 2>SE
50 Fieldfare >NNE
2 Redwing >NNE
8 Meadow Pipit >N
1 Redpoll sp >NE
1 Siskin
Also seen 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Redwing, 70 Chaffinch, 50+Linnet
Another newly arrived Chiffchaff was singing from scrub along lutley lane, and had an obvious 'pollen horn' showing as a dark patch around the bill and face.

Monday, 22 March 2010

22/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.40am (7°c) - (11°c) Sunny spells and scattered cloud, clouding over with rain from late a.m (SSW) Wind

Wheatear Wassell Grove 22/3/10

There was an excellent 'fall' of at least 10 Wheatears today on the patch, as the ridge of high pressure from yesterday was replaced by low pressure from the west overnight.
The thickening cloud overnight and rain during the morning combined with a southerly wind, grounded overflying night migrants as birds that had probably departed in good migration conditions and clear skies encountered the cloudy skies and increasingly poor weather. (2M) Wheatear were in a ploughed field at Wassell Grove early morning and (5M and 1F) were in another ploughed field near Foxcote. Later in the evening i re-checked the fields on a hunch there may have been more arrivals during the day and found an impressive 10 Wheatears (8M, 2F) in a different ploughed field. Some of these birds had probably relocated from the other fields during the day, but also probably contained new arrivals.
At Wassell Grove Pools a late morning visible migration watch saw 34 Meadow pipits fly over in an hour from 10.50-11.50 but no doubt many more flew through earlier in the morning.
Also seen, 5 Redwing, 80+ Linnets and 50+ Chaffinch.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

21/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.40am (2°c) - (14.3°c) later. Early mist patches then sunny mostly clear skies, some patchy high cloud. V.light (SW) breeze.

Early mist looking east over Wassell Grove Pools.

Sun 'halo' (caused by ice crystals in high altitude cirrus cloud)

Small numbers of Meadow Pipits again passing over early morning, but were all fairly high up due to the lack of any headwind and calm conditions. Most were first picked up on flight call but some were just too high to hear, meaning i probably missed more than i saw as birds passed high overhead. Any migrants flying over last night probably over flew the patch in the clear conditions, meaning a total lack of any Wheatears today.
Visible Migration at Wassell Grove Pools totals:-
34 Meadow Pipit >N
4 Redpoll sp >N
1 Siskin >ESE
3 Lapwing > WNW
500+ Starling flew over very high >E

Also seen 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Fieldfare, 3+ Redwing, 2 Siskin

Saturday, 20 March 2010

20/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.40am (11°c) - (13.6°c) later. Grey, overcast low cloud with frequent rain and drizzle, windy (SSW).

Golden Plover SW over Wassell Grove Pools 20/3/10

The weather conditions first thing this morning made for some tough birding, after the overnight rain continued into this morning. Frequent rain showers were coming through on a strong and blustery SSW wind making it decidedly grim at times! Low cloud with drizzle and rain can be good 'wader weather' however and today was a good example of overflying waders forced to fly lower in the poor visibility. Golden Plover were on the move overhead with one flying over (SW) at 09.46am, followed by 3 flying high (SE) at 10.09am, 1 (SW) at 11.05am and finally 2 (SW) at 11.34am.
From about 10.00am the rain showers started to ease off briefly and some light Meadow Pipit passage got going but numbers were again low.

Wassell Grove Pools Visible Migration Totals:-
7 Golden Plover (4 >SW) (3 >SE)
3 Lapwing >SW
18 Meadow Pipit >N
2 Siskin >N

Also:- 2 Raven flew over >East, 18 Redwings, 6 Fieldfare, 60 Linnets and 13 Black-Headed Gull.
Tomorrow's weather forecast looks much better for visible migration as the weather fronts and low pressure of today that brought the rain moves east overnight and is replaced by a ridge of high pressure moving in from the west. This will bring clearer skies and light winds from the NW in the morning, moving around to the SW in the afternoon. Migrants will no doubt have been held up further south during the rain of today so there may be a 'rush' of birds to follow.

Friday, 19 March 2010

19/03/10 Lutley Wedge 07.00am (7°c) (13.9°c) later. Sunny spells and scattered cloud, breezy (SSW)

Chiffchaff Lutley Brook 19/3/10

Lapwing Wassell Grove Pools 19/3/10

Chiffchaff singing (Wassell Grove Pools 19/3)

The first migrant Chiffchaffs this spring arrived on the patch today, with 1 Chiffchaff singing at Wassell Grove Pools this morning, and another 2 singing along the course of Lutley Brook. Whilst watching one of the Chiffchaffs at the Pools i also heard a Common Redshank which called once as it flew high overhead. This is only the third record of Redshank at Lutley Wedge.
10 Fieldfares flew over the track down to Wassell Grove Pools, and 5 Pied Wagtails, 40 Linnets and 10 Skylarks were in the ploughed fields alongside the pools track.

Visible Migration at Wassell Grove Pools:-
19 Meadow Pipit
1 Redpoll sp
2 Lapwing >S
1 Common Redshank
1 Cormorant >NE

Also 1M Wheatear was seen on 18/3/10 in the ploughed field alongside the track down to Wassell Grove Pools. (SLC)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

17/03/10 Lutley Wedge 8.00am (7°c) / (14°c later ) Cloudy and overcast, but some bright spells breaking through. (S/SW) Breeze

Stonechat Wassell Grove 17/3/10

Cormorant heading South 17/3/10

Redwing 17/3/10

A small 'fall' today, with 3 Female Stonechats in the field opposite the entrance/track to Wassell Grove Pools, and a flock of 45+ Meadow Pipits that had also been grounded by the grey overcast skies this morning. The overnight frontal weather however failed to drop in any other expected spring migrants i.e Wheatears or Chiffchaffs on the patch though.
Visible migration at Wassell Grove Pools, proved to be a struggle again with hardly anything moving in any numbers.
Visible Migration Totals :-
17 Meadow Pipit >N
2 alba Wagtail >N/NW
1 Cormorant >SSW
3 Lapwing >E and WSW

Also seen 15+ Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redpoll sp, 3 Herring Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Reed Bunting and a flock of 50 Linnets.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

16/03/10 Lutley Wedge 8.00am (1°c) / (12°c later ) Sunny, mostly clear skies & some scattered high cloud, light S/SW breeze. Overnight frost (-0.4°c)

Visible migration at Wassell Grove Pools was virtually non-existent again this morning, with just a very light trickle of mainly single Meadow Pipits heading north. It may have been quiet, but things got a whole lot worse when frustratingly at 09.25 two small, very high and distant waders flew through towards Clent heading east, and even though i managed to follow them in the scope they were just too far away to be sure of a definite i.d one way or the other! On the views i got they were probably Ringed Plover, which would have been a patch first had they flown closer, but sadly they never did! A patch first slips through your fingers, there's nothing worse!

Visible Migration totals :-
10 Meadow Pipit >N
2 alba Wagtail >N
3 Siskin >N/NW
1 Redpoll sp >N
2 Plover sp! >E
Also seen at the pools 8 Redwing, 3+ Common Buzzards, 3 (2m1f) Sparrowhawks. A flock of 30 Linnets were again in the ploughed field alongside the pools track.

Monday, 15 March 2010

15/03/10 Lutley Wedge 8.00am (5°c) Sunny/Bright with scattered high cloud, light (W) breeze freshening to (WNW) wind later and clouding over.

Female Stonechat Wassell Grove 15/3/10
A newly arrived Female Stonechat was in the field opposite the entrance/track to the pools this morning, and there was a slight increase in visible migration over Wassell Grove Pools, with a few more Meadow Pipits heading north today.
Visible Migration totals:-
10 Meadow Pipits >North
1 alba Wagtail >North
3 Lapwings >Southeast
4 Redpoll sp >North and Northwest
10 Redwing >East
Also seen:- 8 Fieldfare, 30 Linnets

Saturday, 13 March 2010

13/03/10 Lutley Wedge 8.15am (1°c) Cold sunny and clear start, clouding over from NW. (NNW) Breeze, overnight (-0.6°c)

Cormorants (1st yr and adult) flying north 13.3.10

Male and female Sparrowhawk 13.3.10

Some visible migration at Wassell Grove Pools this morning, but still pretty quiet.
Visible Migration totals:-
2 Cormorant >North
1 Lapwing >Southeast
2 Meadow Pipit >North and Southeast
20 Fieldfare
7 Siskin
3 Redpoll sp
1 Raven circled high over the pools, then flew East

Also a pair of Sparrowhawks were displaying high over the pools, and 2 Common Buzzards seen.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

11/03/10 Lutley Wedge 10.50am (5°c) Sunny Spells and Scattered Cloud, Cold (NNE) Wind, Overnight frost (-1.5°c)

Remains very quiet migration wise in the current anticyclonic weather, and cold northeasterly wind. Hopefully the high pressure that has been over the U.K will shift in the next few days and allow in some milder atlantic air, which should bring the first Wheatears and Chiffchaffs.
There was no sign of the Stonechat this morning around the entrance to Wassell Grove Pools, so it may well have moved on in the clear conditions overnight. A flock of 30 Redwings were at Wassell Grove Pools and 8 Fieldfares flew over, and 4+ Common Buzzards were seen soaring and displaying.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

10/03/10 Lutley Wedge 2.30pm (6°c) Cold, Cloudy with occasional Sunny Spells, Cold (NE) Wind

Stonechat Wassell Grove 10/3/10

The Male Stonechat was still around the entrance/track to Wassell Grove Pools this afternoon, and has been present now for at least 6 days. Also 21+ Redwings were at the pools.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

09/03/10 Lutley Wedge 10.55am (7°c) Sunny Spells and Scattered Cloud, Cold (NE) Wind

Stonechat 9/3/10

The Male Stonechat was still around the entrance/track to Wassell Grove Pools this morning, and 2 Meadow Pipits were seen displaying, the first this spring. Also seen 2 Common Buzzard and 4 Skylarks.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

07/03/10 Lutley Wedge 10.50am (2°c) Sunny, Clear Skies (E) Breeze, Overnight hard frost (-5°c)

Stonechat Wassell Grove 7/3/10

1 Male Stonechat still in the field opposite the entrance/track to Wassell Grove Pools this morning. Also seen 1 Common Buzzard, 12+ Fieldfares.

Friday, 5 March 2010

05/03/10 Lutley Wedge 12.35pm (7°c) Sunny Spells and Scattered Cloud (NW) Wind, Overnight frost (-3.6°c)

Stonechat Wassell Grove 5/3/10

Skylark 5/3/10

1 Male Stonechat was in the rough field opposite the entrance/track down to Wassell Grove Pools this afternoon, the first hint that spring migration is getting underway. Also at least 4 Skylarks were singing and displaying in the same field, but as yet no sign of any displaying Meadow Pipits here.
Also seen at Lutley today 2 Siskins, 3 Common Buzzards, and 45+ Linnets.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

02/03/10 Lutley Wedge 12.30pm, Mild (9°c), Warm Sunny Spells and Scattered Cloud, Overnight frost (-3.1°c)

A flock of 50+ Redwings and 14 Fieldfares were feeding in the horse paddocks around Wassell Grove Pools this afternoon. Also seen 40 Linnets, 3 Skylarks, 4 Bullfinch and 3 Common Buzzards.

Monday, 1 March 2010

01/03/10 Lutley Wedge 3.00pm, Mild (10°c), Warm Sunny Spells and Scattered Cloud, Overnight frost (-1.9°c)

A flock of 26 Redwing flew over the allotments this afternoon.

28/02/10 Lutley Wedge 1.00pm, Cold (5°c) Grey, Cloudy and Overcast.

At Wassell Grove Pools this afternoon a mixed flock of 12 Siskin, and 4 Lesser Redpoll were feeding in the tops of alder trees next to the pools and 20 Redwings and 1 Fieldfare flew over. Also seen 2 Treecreepers, 1 Nuthatch and 4 Goldfinch, whilst 24 Mallards were on the pools along with 6 Canada Geese and a Grey Heron.