Thursday, 26 March 2009

The wind had shifted round to the south west this afternoon, but although it wasn't quite as cold as yesterday, it was blowing even stronger! I contemplated staying in and watching the garden as I ate lunch, and the sighting of both SISKIN and BRAMBLING at the feeders should have persuaded me, but no, I had to up the stakes, and go out on my patch - it was a possible Swallow or other exciting spring migrant versus the definite Brambling and Siskin, the former won out.

I took the choice and lost! All I could hear in the wet woods was the roar of the wind in the tree tops, and the only thing of note was the MALLARD with her ducklings, there were only 5 out of 17, had the rest all been predated ? I like to think this was another brood, I'll try and keep an eye out for the first one. The lake didn't help me out at all, just the CANADA GEESE, MOORHEN and 2 more Mallard were there. I still had Migrant alley to look over, but shortly after getting there, a heavy shower rolled in, and ended the afternoons excursion. All I saw was a singing SKYLARK and 150 sheep and lambs being driven to new pasture by the shepherds two sheep dogs, you now you've had a bad day when counting sheep was a highlight!!

I just got in as the rain stopped, and the sun came out (typical!) I made a cup of tea, and sat by the bedroom window to watch the garden for an hour or so. It wasn't long before the Siskin came in, a pair fed on the Sunflower hearts, along with the GREEN, GOLD, and CHAFFINCH'S. Then a Lovely bright male BRAMBLING came in, and fed on the floor, on the spilt hearts with the Chaffinch's, a cracking bird. I got a few pics, but the sun was in my face, and I was shooting through the rain spangled window, so they are rubbish photo's. A little later a female Brambling came in and fed at the tube feeder, Ive never seen one on them before. Other birds of note to use the garden - NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, and a couple of WOOD PIGEONS, they are only ocasional visitors to my garden.

The weather still looks rubbish for the next few days, and few, if any spring migrants will be arriving on my patch this weekend, I'll still be out looking though!

Above; One of the Mallard ducklings in the wet woods
Above is the female brambling on the tube feeder, and below is the same bird in my Elder tree.

Below is the male Brambling, just starting to get his black head.

Below is one of the 12 Green finch that were on the feeders


Anonymous said...

This weather`s put the mockers on everything, Warren. And just as things were beginning to improve.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Bramblings all round then .
As to your question re Adders , I must admit that I didn't know , so I made a few enquiries .
The best thoughts are that if the animal were to completely empty it's venom sacks , it would take several days to replenish and longer in cooler conditions . When you think that an animal probably eats 6/8 small mammals between coming out and returning into hibernation , it can be critical .
Of interest , Adders do not fight their prey , but just bites them , then follow by scent the wounded mammal , which is paralysed and probably dead when the Adder arrives . This saves energy and avoids injury to the Adder , but not good news to the mammal .

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for that Greenie. You learn something every day!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Nice company you keep for lunch.Shame about the weather though.
Still, you always find something to write about,even on a bad day. That goes for Greenie too.

Kelly said...

...I really like the female Brambling and the adorable little duckling!! Our weather hasn't been the best either the past few days, but it cleared this afternoon just in time for me to head out for a bit.

Monika said...

Wow, ducklings already! Nothing of the sort yet over here, but it must be spring. Here's hoping 12 weren't lost and that you saw another brood! It must be tough living out in that weather when you're that small.

Tony Morris said...

fantastic birds, Bramblings, if they stay around a while it's great to see the males get really black and 'glossy',no ducklings on our pond yet.

Tricia said...

I think the seasons have gone in reverse Warren; horrendously windy and wet here to! Nice to hear/see a skylark though - signs of summer.

I wondered where my Bramblings had gone - to visit you :D

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Well let's hope the weather will get better soon. I'm surprised you can already observe ducklings!! Maybe we will see them soon here too, although it is still pretty cold (-5).... Have a nice week end.

North West Birds said...

I like the brambling!