Sunday, 11 January 2009

It was far less cold this morning, but yesterdays frost still persisted on the ground. Numbers of birds had increased slightly on yesterday, but not by much. Of the 46 species seen, the highlight was again a WOODCOCK, it flew up from the margin of the wet woods/ tree nursery as I passed, and it came down a short way into the wet woods. Another visitor was just as welcome - A SNIPE, this was seen on the stream behind the college, I saw it before it saw me (unusual!) and I managed to get a photo of it, of sorts! The BARN OWL was at its roost, and the LINNETS were again seen coming from theirs. Species missed yesterday were picked up today - COAL and LONG TAILED TITS in the college grounds, and 2 maybe 3 MEADOW PIPITS at Migrant Alley, where there were 18 LAPWING and a few BLACK HEADED GULLS.
The wild bird crop remains an attractive place for the YELLOWHAMMERS and REED BUNTINGS, with minimum totals of 30 and 15 respectively. The latter species is the most i've ever seen together anywhere! Just goes to show what a willing farmer can achieve with a small piece of ground.
When I got to the wet woods, the ice was showing signs of thawing, but the small pools still stood my weight, as well as a fox that I watched scamper across. TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, and GOLDCREST were all recorded here. The Lake was still hard frozen though, apart from a small area where the fountain was splashing down, 6 MALLARD were dabbling in the open water, but nothing else.
When I got home, I went upstairs to put all the mornings data on my spreadsheets, and as I looked out onto the garden feeders I saw a male BRAMBLING (63). I grabbed my camera, and just as I was going to press the button, out comes the neighbour with the washing - chance gone! I may get it later this afternoon if it comes back. It's good to get a Brambling on the list early in the year, they are not seen so much at the back end of the year, saying that, this bird is my first Brambling seen in any January! Also seen in the garden, for the day list, was a MARSH TIT. 48 for a January day is excellent.

Above. Sunrise over pittswood, and below, a Long Tailed Tit
Below is the Snipe I surprised at the stream.

below: Black headed Gull over Migrant Alley
below are a couple of the Reed Buntings in the hedgerow by the wild bird crop.

I thought i'd put this ice statue in! It was formed by one of the dripping taps at the tree nursery


Greenie said...

Warren ,
It's that washerwoman syndrome again .
I didn't even see the male Brambling in the garden .

Anonymous said...

Bramblings are a bit thin on the ground this winter. A failed beech mast crop, must have been responsible for them not hanging around.

Ken said...

Great to see a Woodcock again. Such a skulking bird. Well done.
What's next, Ice sculpture? HaHa
There doesn't seem to be many Bramblings about at the moment, does there?

Simon said...

Great to hear you had Woodcock and Snipe again Warren, and well done with the Brambling - I am yeat to have one in Mote Park this winter.

IndianWildlifeClub said...

When one sees the large number of people who derive immense pleasure from birdwatching, I am hopeful for the future.

Andrew at Quicksilverbirds said...

Good photo of the Snipe out in the open. Haven't seen any Brambling about here this year, though my neighbour said he'd seen one before Christmas.

Anonymous said...

This tit truly does have a long tail. It would be fascinating to actually see how it flies with this ornament.