Saturday, 24 January 2009

This morning brought a hard frost, freezing over all the puddles, and large patches of water that had formed in the fields. FIELDFARE and REDWING were very obvious from the off, I counted 240 Fieldfare in the sheep pasture next to the tree nursery. The only notable bird in the nursery itself was the roosting BARN OWL. Another large mix of winter thrushes were at Migrant Alley, many hundreds again fed on the Maize stubbles and on the sheep pasture, along with a small group of 6 SKYLARK. A GREY WAGATAIL was seen again at the manure pile, and as I watched it 2 CORMORANTS flew low over, in the direction of the lake, only the second sighting of this species this month. I couldn't walk the stream behind the college, as it was in full flood, and I can't cross it lower down, so I took the short route into the college grounds and gardens. Some common species were found here, MOORHEN, LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH, and on the college sports pitch another winter thrush flock of 100 or so birds. The return walk through Migrant Alley produced a REED BUNTING in the hedgerow, and more Bullfinch were in the Raspberry canes, along with a PIED WAGTAIL.
After mid-point break, for a drink and snack, I headed up ashes lane to the wild bird crop, at least 10 Reed Buntings were flitting from the crop to the hedgerow, one male looked particularly striking in his spring plumage, along with them were a dozen YELLOWHAMMER. Off to the wet woods via the small holding, and little was added to the day's list, apart from the LITTLE OWL, which was in it's usual old apple tree, and a few SISKIN in the Alder tree's in the woods. The last piece of habitat visited was the lake, which was frustratingly frozen again! Just 6 MALLARD were seen, and one of the MARSH TITS was taking sunflowere seeds from the garden nearby, I could see it had no ring on, and thus it was most likely the bird that had hit the window of the house earlier in the week, it looked good and healthy! The last bird on todays list of 46 species was a MEADOW PIPIT which flew over the lake as I left.

Below is a pic of the Little Owl. can you see it ? The next pic. shows it a bit closer.

Below is one of the Redwings on the frosted sports pitch

A fox meanders across a field full of winter thrushes below

And yet more Redwing, Fieldfare at the sports pitch
The yellow monsters below have just torn down a small wood on the edge of my patch for some housing. This is the kind of habitat that our wildlife is losing rapidly, it's a much more important piece of habitat for wildlife than a 'green field' , but it doesn't get any sympathy because it doesn't look very pretty, all those nasty sharp brambles and pointy thornes. More idiots!! It will all come back to bite our arses!


Anonymous said...

So that`s where all the winter thrushes are, Warren. I can count on one hand, how many i`ve seen lately.

Ken said...

Hi Warren
I like the contrast of the frosty ground, and the Redwing sitting on it, also Nice pic of the Little Owl playing peek a boo. Not a bad days tally. Well done.

lee said...

Hello Warren, thats not a bad day,nice photo of the Redwing ,i get very few siskin on my patch and i'v never had a Marsh tit there.
Im getting bored with winter now, i need some new birds although its been a good one so far 74 birds,dont forget the garden bird watch.

Steve said...

I must agree with Dean. Send some Thrushes over to Maidstone! Nice photos, I love the Little Owl.

Anonymous said...

Love the fox in contrast to such a frosty world. I am always excited when I see one on the west coast of north america.