Saturday, 17 January 2009

I left it until the rain cleared, around 08:30hrs before going out this morning, and apart from a brief, heavy hail shower, it was dry and mild with a little sunshine. I walked through the tree nursery first, and picked up the common species, WREN, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, ROBIN and the likes, also a KESTREL, sitting at the top of the tree that holds the Barn Owl box. The barn Owl itself wasn't seen. I made my way to Migrant Alley and the highlights recorded here were 250 STARLINGS, 13 LAPWING, 18 REDWING, 24 FIELDFARE, 3 MEADOW PIPITS, 28 SKYLARK and 3 PIED WAGTAILS, the best bird seen here though, was a flyover GREAT BLACK BACK GULL (64). The mound of horse manure at the end of the fields, had a GREY WAGTAIL feeding around it, and a group of 16 HOUSE SPARROW were in the nearby hedge. The stream behind the college grounds, and the grounds themselves were very quiet, of interest there, were just a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, and a flyover flock of 18 CANADA GEESE (65). Crossing the sports field, on the way back to migrant alley, there were 18 BLACK HEADED GULL feeding on the football pitch, whilst the return visit to migrant alley provided 2 LINNET, 8 YELLOWHAMMER and a lone REEDBUNTING, all associating with the hedgerow between the Greenhouses and maize stubble.
After a quick snack at home, I left for the wet woods and lake area, looking at the wild bird crop along ashes lane, and the small holding just before the woods. The former had at least 2 Reedbunting, and 10 YELLOWHAMMER, but probably more birds were in the crop itself. The small holding gave up GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS, NUTHATCH and a male SPARROWHAWK that was spiraling over. In the wet woods a pair of TEAL were seen, and just one GOLDCREST, along with a TREECREEPER. The lake had thawed completely now, and a total of 40 MALLARD were on the water, but nothing more exotic was with them.
A little later in the day I took my scope over to migrant alley to have a look at the stubbles, maybe something interesting would be out there, but it wasn't to be. However a COMMON BUZZARD was seen going over, and as I tracked it N/E, I saw it join another two, where all three spiraled in the sky. That took the day list to an excellent 48, and with the MARSH TIT and another sighting of the BRAMBLING in the garden it made a round 50 for the day.

Below: A Male House sparrow, taking an early bath.
Below a Male Blackbird

Lastly, the Grey wagtail that was around the manure pile.


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Really like the House Sparrow shot .
The weather seems to have cleared you earlier than us .

Steve said...

Love the House Sparrow shot Warren. Great capture.

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Great H Sparrow shot, cheers for the comment on my blog.
Keep up the incredible patch watching, you deserve a 1st for the UK on your patch!

Simon said...

Nice H Sparrow shot Warren. Well done with the 2 new birds for the year.

Ken said...

Hi Warren. Nice to see you are still clocking up the species, despite the weather. Keep it up.
Haven't been able to do any birding myself since last Wednesday due to twinges in the old back, had to rest up ,but feeling a lot better now. Start again asap.
Well done again with pics.