Saturday, 10 January 2009

************Today it was.......FREEZING!!*********

It was the coldest night for many a year, and a thick hoar frost coated everything, making for some great scenery. The poor wildlife must be suffering terribly though, so I have made sure my garden has plenty of food, and a supply of ice-free water.
It was soon evident that there were very few birds on my patch, of the 45 species recorded, most were seen in just ones and two's, apart from a flock of 40 LAPWING at Migrant Alley, 12 SKYLARK also at Migrant Alley, 25 YELLOWHAMMER and 8 REED BUNTING, that were feeding together on the wild bird crop at Ashes Lane, I suspect that there were more of them actually in the crop, but I didn't want to flush them out in this weather. A fast flying KINGFISHER (61) was seen as it flew along the stream at the college, and in the alders above a LESSER REDPOLL was seen with about 6 SISKIN, another of the few species seen in any number. TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH and GOLDCREST were in the wet woods, and in the small holding I pass before entering the woods there was a LITTLE OWL (62) sitting in an old apple tree. The lake area was empty of birds when I arrived, but 7 MALLARD dropped onto the ice whilst I was there. I went back towards the woods from there, and then into the tree nursery, where I disturbed another WOODCOCK, thats three this month, incredible! By the time I finished my 4 hour walk I was frozen to the core, but the scenery today made it well worth it.

Below is a photo of the hedgerow by the wild bird crop. There are Yellowhammers and Reed Bunting all along it. If you look carefully! or enlarge the pic.
Below is the Little Owl, looks like it's been up all night. ;-)

This GREAT TIT below, was calling vigorously despite the cold conditions

I watched this SONG THRUSH smashing open a snail.

A BULLFINCH was in the bramble, along Ashes Lane

As was this smart cock HOUSE SPARROW

Below, is a Nuthatch, I watched it trying to stash away a Sunflower seed

Below is a Redwing, winter thrushes were thin on the ground today.

All the shots below are of the frosty conditions on my patch this morning


Simon said...

Fantastic Little Owl and Bullfinch photos Warren, great stuff!

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Great pics, love the little owl. I has 17 Golden plover fly north from Whetsted today and thought they might alite on your patch. There always tomorrow!
Great stuff

Warren Baker said...

Glad you enjoyed the photo's Simon.

Josh, maybe I should have done an afternoon visit. I was too early on the fields this am.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Some great shots today , and kept the counter ticking over .
I would have attempted some shots - if I had a camera .
If you were cold , you should have tried hedgelaying 0830-1500 , Jct. M25 & M23 .

Ken said...

Hi Warren.
Love the pics you took today, especially the Little Owl. Some great shots and some great birds, well done. Nice to see a shot of a Song Thrush!

Warren Baker said...

I think my days of physical excersion are well over!

As for that counter, I had to put a different one on, I started the new one approx. where the last one gave up!

Adam said...

NIce pics today Warren - really was a lovely wintery scene when the sun came out, but like you I feel for the wildlife, I had a mose on one of my feeders today things are getting so bad.


Steve said...

Just catching up with the last few days Warren....some great pictures. That Little Owl is excellent!

Kingsdowner said...

At the beginning of the report, you wrote that there were few birds around, but you got some great shots, as the others have praised.
I know it's cold, Adam, but a moose on your feeders?

lee said...

Awesome photos today warren the little owl has to be one of the best iv ever seen

Chris said...

Maybe freezing but what a tour you did. So many birds and so many nice landscape pictures!!! Really well done!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the frosty world you photographed. And your picture of your owl is fantastic situated in these icy surroundings. A nice surprise to see and to experience.

Eagleseagles said...

I should have had my camera with me on Saturday such was the weather and you have captured the atmosphere perfectly!

(Chilterns were even colder - I can assure you!)

Some beautiful bird photos on your blog I shall link you now- Josh recommended your blog.