Sunday, 21 December 2008

The wind was much stronger this morning, making it difficult to pick up bird calls, especially in the wet woods. It was here that I again came across 3 TEAL, 2 Drakes and a duck, just visible in the growing light, with them on the pools were at least 2 pairs of mallard and 5 MOORHEN. A MARSH TIT called from amongst a mixed feeding flock, which also contained 4 GOLDCREST and a COAL TIT. Over at the lake the COOT was still present, as was a GREY HERON, as I left 2 CORMORANTS came in, so I left them to fish undisturbed. As I was finishing the first part of my walk I scanned the setaside field at the western end of Ashes Lane, It was pleasing to find a flock of at least 20 YELLOWHAMMER, and 5 REEDBUNTING feeding in the crop thats been planted for the overwintering birds, they flitted from the crop to the hedge, where I also saw WREN, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, BLUE and GREAT TIT, whilst a pair of NUTHATCH alarm called up in a large ash behind me.
Over at Migrant Alley, the fields were full of BLACK HEADED GULL (120 min.), STARLING (200 min), WOODPIGEON (50min), ROOK (50 min), with small numbers of MEADOW PIPIT, SKYLARK, FIELDFARE, REDWING, a pair of MISTLE THRUSH and a lone Yellowhammer. Along the stream behind the college, a mixed flock of some 20 or so SISKIN and a dozen GOLDFINCH fed in the Alders. The only bird of note in the college gardens was a KINGFISHER, which as yesterday, flew from one of the ponds there. Another quick scan of migrant alley produced a COMMON GULL and a LESSER BLACK BACK GULL, the latter was flying over.

Another good day total of 49 species was seen, with the weekend total reching 54, very good for a December weekend.

Above: A male REED BUNTING. One of a flock of 5. This is a large flock for my patch!!
Above: Some of the Black Headed Gulls, Rooks, Starlings and Woodpigeon at Migrant Alley
Later in the day, some fellow bloggers helped me put up the Barn owl box. ( Well, they actually did it all!!) Greenie was the main man http://greenieinthewild.blogspot.com/. He scaled the ladder, climbed the tree and attached the box like it was all in a normal days work. Steve from http://newhythe.blogspot.com/ gave a bit of muscle, and my friend dave - the local postie - did some much needed rope work.

Above: Greenie left and Steve do some risk assessments!


Above: Steve holds it whilst Greenie screws it! Then it was decided that we didn't like the position, so the box was moved again.



Above: Here's dave - On the pull!

Below: The Barn Owls new home. Lets hope it stays in situ and is producing the goods soon.
Thanks again to Greenie, Steve and Dave. Especially Greenie who showed us younger guys how it should be done, well done mate.






3 comments:

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Great stuff Warren, fingers crossed any Barn owls appreciated your work!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
It was a good team effort with everyone playing their part .
Really enjoyed it , it's up to the Owls now .
Good to put a face to a name .

Ken said...

Sorry I couldnt be there with you guys. If I could have helped I would have. If we can give nature a helping hand in any way, then it has all been worth wile.Well done to you Warren,Steve, Greenie and postie.
I look forward to the day when I read your blog and it says that an Owl has paid attention to your nice cosy box.