Thursday, 12 March 2009

Overcast and dull again ! The birds however, seemed more active, especially in the wet woods where a small flock of CHAFFINCH were amongst the leaf litter, I always scan them for a Brambling at this time of year, but there wasn't any today. A pair of GOLDCREST, a pair of COAL TITS and a TREECREEPER were all very vocal, as were half a dozen SISKIN up in the Alder tree's, sounding like there were two dozen! When I got to the lake area, I saw a CORMORANT on the first, smaller lake, so I crept past so as not to flush it up. The main lake however had a nice surprise in store, in the form of 5 GOOSANDER, Wow!! Quite a gathering for my patch. Not such a gathering has been recorded here since the record number of 9 birds was seen on 14 February 2002. I got as near as I dared without flushing them off, and could see three stunning males and two females, I managed a few distant photo's through the bankside undergrowth, and you can just make them out.

I left the Goosander preening, and loafing about on the lake, and went over to Migrant alley, where a tractor was harrowing the muckspread stubble fields. This normally brings in a few birds, and so it proved, the first bird I noticed was a KESTREL hovering overhead, no doubt hoping for a tasty worm to be thrown up, and in the furthest part of the field at least 5 FIELDFARE were enjoying the disturbed ground. As I sat and watched, PIED WAGTAILS were dropping in all the time, two dozen at least, were feeding when I left. Also dropping in were 28 REDWING, the largest flock i've seen for some time, a lone MEADOW PIPIT was heard and two SKYLARK were occasionally giving some brief song flight. Flyovers included 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, 1 BLACK HEADED GULL, 2 CANADA GEESE and a few YELLOWHAMMERS. Still no Chiffchaff today, or that early wheatear, in fact the birds seen today were more of a wintery nature - but that will soon change, the weekend is being set up nicely!

Below: The Blackthorn blossom is now just opening, weeks after last years first sighting.
Below are 3 of the Goosander, a real good bird on my patch, and this winter I've been spoiled rotten!

Below are 4 Goosander, but I couldn't quite get all 5 in the same shot.

Last but not least the Cormorant, which decided to hang in a tree top to dry it's wings.


Ken said...

Hello Warren.
Quite a change from yesterday Well done with the 5 Goosanders. Always nice to get photographic proof. Maybe things are on the up.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Great find the 5 Goosander , a real spirit lifter .
Still no sign of Blackthorn blossom around here .

Steve said...

That is a great record warren- nice one!

Steve said...

Well done on the Goosanders, 5, you lucky git! Always nice to herethe Siskin chattering away. Hopefully the weekend will be good.

Oxonhoath Birds said...

How many more decoys you got Warren? Just joking, really like the Goosanders

EP Andy said...

Hi Warren

Top birds for the area. Just worked out where your lakes are after looking on Google Earth. Back on to Poult Wood golf course right ?

You seem to have your patch right on a migration route what with your success in the Autumn and the Goosanders moving through. I only get them in really cold weather following hte Medway.

fishing guy said...

Warren: Neat shot of the Cormorant, they do that wing movement on the bouys on the lake.