An afternoon visit to Theale, Berks today started off with a stop off at Burnthouse Lane, as i parked up i soon could hear the song of Lesser Whitethroat and after waiting 15 minutes finally got a quick view before it disappeared into the brambles again. Not much on the pits, a few Pied Wagtails and a small number of common ducks.
At Theale main pit a pair of Blackcaps were moving through the bushes by the gate and it didn't take long before i heard a Chiffchaff calling from the scrub near the pylon. As i approached i soon heard a number of Blackcaps calling followed by the Chiffchaff and finally a Willow Warbler perked up and joined the melee of Warbler song filling the air. As i waited for something to show itself the alarm calls of Lesser Whitethroat could be heard coming from the bramble thickets, the Willow Warbler continued to sing for at least half an hour above me and was perched in a tree by the pylon, i decided to take advantage by taking a few photos. Warblers are very rarely still and difficult to digiscope at the best of times.
Across the road at Hosehill LNR at least 2 Sedge Warblers were singing from the reeds, my first of the year. Another pair of Blackaps were moving through the bushes by the horse paddock, a single Mistle Thrush and 2 Pied Wagtails were feeding in the Paddock. A few Black-headed Gulls were squabbling amongst themselves on the raft with a small number of Cormorants looking on.
Driving home through Skirmett 2 Swallows were sat on the lines near to where they have nested before, and later 2 were feeding across the fields next to our cottage. A quick walk round the garden early evening, 3 Red Kites sat in one of the adjacent fields, presumably eating worms on the newly ploughed field, 2 Buzzards circling above, a single Red-legged Partridge wandered through the garden and off into the fields. A pair of Jackdaws have nested in the bottom of an Apple tree in the orchard and seem to be adding material to their nest. While watching the Jackdaws i could hear the calls of a number of young birds from the hedge and after a couple of minutes 2 Robin fledglings showed themselves, it wasn't long before the parents turned up with a beak full of food and led them along the hedge and out of sight. Seems a bit early to me but there seems to be plenty of food about. I could hear a Great Tit sending out a alarm call and made my way towards it, it was sat near the entrance to a nest box that it is currently occupying and was obviously very agitated, as i moved closer i soon found the source of the problem, the resident Little Owl was sat in the tree next to the nest box and obviously the Great Tit wasn't happy. The Owl finally got the message and moved along to a fence post and continued to watch the fields, it's been sat outside our cottage on the fence posts for the last week and seems to be taking food from the ploughed fields,Perhaps Worms, Beetles and other insects. A single Goldcrest has been feeding in the evergreen trees by the garden for the last few days and Wednesday morning brought an unusual flyover, 8:45am 2 Ring-necked Parakeets flew over heading towards Hambleden, their noisy calls could be heard well before they actually passed over. I have seen them recently as close as Bovingdon Green, Bucks, but have never seen or heard them this far out in the country, especially without large areas of water.
Added To My Year List.
128. Lesser Whitethroat
129. Sedge Warbler