Saturday, 31 January 2015

In a thoroughly miserable patch visit this morning, in which rain, sleet and snow fell throughout, I failed to find any more new species for the Years/Months list. The at times very poor visibility made sky watching pointless, ruling out the most likely place to record a new year tick, and the lakes, the second most likely place, was mostly frozen over with a layer of icy slush  :-(

There were a few bits of interest about though, a TREECREEPER called from the Wet Woods, where about 15 CHAFFINCHES flew up from the leaf litter, I checked through the ones I could see for the possible Brambling, but of course it wasn't with them!

The lone COOT and MUTE SWAN pair were on the Ornamental lake, a BUZZARD flew over the Ashes Lane Field, very low, as it did yesterday, but again, it was mostly ignored by the half dozen REDWING and MISTLETHRUSH pair that were there.

The female KESTREL was at the Greenhouse Grounds, as was the GREY WAGTAIL, plus in the Greenhouse Copse the LITTLE OWL was seen, the first time since the 22nd. Out on the sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley there were 57 BLACK HEADED GULLS, 3 COMMON GULLS, plus the regular ROOKS, JACKDAWS and WOODPIGEONS, but also, there was a mixed flock of STARLING, Redwing, and FIELDFARE numbering around 120 birds in all, hard to say how many of each due to the gloom and continual moving of the feeding flock.

So the month has ended on a total of 61 species and for the first January ever, does not contain Siskin! The combined species list for the previous 13 Januaries is 84, so there were quite a few more species that could well of been expected to be recorded, especially the likes of Lesser Redpoll, Mandarin Duck, Reed Bunting, Snipe and Linnet.

The 14 year mean average species total for January is 61, so I at least reached that, but the mean average species count for the previous 5 Januaries is 65. January 2015 has the lowest species tally since 2007, which had 57.

Just a few ROBIN images left in the blog folder now, hopefully the sun will return for next month!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Just a ninety minute patch visit was possible today, early rain and a mid morning appointment with the opticians limited my time out.

Not much was recorded, certainly no sign of any Siskins or Redpoll for the months list, if I don't see a Siskin this month it will be the first siskin-less January ever on my patch!

The MUTE SWAN pair were still at the ornamental lake, the female was checking out last years nest site, so these probably are the pair that bred here last year and will, hopefully, do so this year. A GREY HERON visited the main lake, but no other visitors were seen on the water this morning.

There was not much activity in either the Scrubby Woods or the Wet Woods, just COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH and GOLDCREST were seen out of the scarcer woodland passerines.

A COMMON BUZZARD flew low over the Ashes Lane Fields, but didn't upset the 30 or so REDWING there, or the MISTLETHRUSH pair that were with them, the male KESTREL was sat on a fence post as well, not to the liking of the dozen MEADOW PIPITS that mobbed it!

Only a few minutes were spent scanning the sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, but little was seen, just a few BLACK HEADED GULLS and the corvid/WOODPIGEON flock.

With just one more visit left for January, it's looking like a pretty poor species tally will be achieved, the 61 species seen so far this January make it only the 8th best tally of 14 and the worst tally since 2007, which stood at 58.

Still a few images left from the 'blog folder' these were taken from my garden earlier this week  :-)



Coal Tit