Sunday, 20 December 2009

The snow still lay deep, crisp and even over my patch this morning, but after some early cloud dispearsed, and the sun came above the horizon, it soon felt a lot warmer, and wherever the suns rays touched, the snow began to thaw.

I had quite a good walk round this morning, in the 4 hours I was out, I recorded a very good total of 47 species, which could have reached 50 if 3 of the commonly seen species had been found, namely Skylark, Mistle Thrush and Sparrowhawk.

I did have some uncommonly seen species turn up though, firstly a PEREGRINE, which flew over as I watched the LINNETS coming out of roost at the Tree Nursery, and secondly a LITTLE EGRET which flew over the College Grounds, both these species have only been seen once this month. A flock of 15 CANADA GEESE that flew over Migrant Alley was the first seen this month, bringing the december tally to 62, the joint 2nd best december total.

5 LAPWING flew east over the College Grounds, and later on my walk, 7 flew west, also noted going over were a decent flock of at least 60 FIELDFARE, small groups of REDWING, 2 MEADOW PIPITS and 3 single YELLOWHAMMERS, whilst the KESTREL still hunts around the Greenhouse Complex scrub.

The visit to the Small Holding, wet woods, and lake area was still severely hampered by snow, both on the ground and in the trees and scrub, the sun never fully gets to these parts of my patch. However I did manage to record just about everything that I would expect to be out there, TREECREEPER (singing!), NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, (good to see it still surviving!), SISKIN, BULLFINCH, and a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, all good birds for the day list. The lake remains firmly ice locked, and just 4 MALLARD were seen on the ice, and a line of 5 MOORHEN travelled around the icy perimeter. A trip along the edge of the Wet Woods, to see the LITTLE OWL at roost was successful, but I didn't hang around to take a photo in case I disturbed it, not a good thing to do in the cold weather!

The garden feeders are still very active, but there has been a drop in the number of Tit species coming in, especially BLUE TIT, I hope they are not succumbing to the cold. There was a staggering 21 BLACKBIRDS in my small garden at dawn this morning, quite something to watch them all squabbling over spilt sunflower hearts! After being thrilled at finding my first Moorhen in the garden last month, and then finding two this week, I can now say there are 3! Cool or what?

Below are a few pics I took this morning, the first two are of Long tailed Tits

Below is a BLACKBIRD, looking a bit chilly
Below is the view up Ashes lane, now the snow is thawing a bit.

The rest of the photo's below were taken on Friday afternoon

Above a Blackbird and a Blue Tit share the feeder

Above: A male CHAFFINCH, whilst below it's a full house of GOLDFINCH

More GREENFINCH and Goldfinch on the 12 port feeder below


Jann said...

Just awesome Warren! A really nice collection of birds; love the blackbird and tit sharing the feeder. The green/gold finches are so pretty. Your scenery looks like ours; we've still got 5" of snow melting away many days later since it fell...

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Another very interesting blog report. This Moorhen business is getting out of hand now, isn't it? I bet even you are surprised at 3 turning up, what's tomorrows offering, 4??
You December tally is looking good at the moment, I hoe it turns out to be a record month.
You saw a great variety of birds today, some I would love to see over here.
Thank you for your garden feeder info. There is certainly no shortage of Goldfinch's around if my garden and yours is anything to go by.

Kelly said...

Gosh Warren....I'm absent from the blogosphere for 5 days, and I miss all the fun. Your photos of the snow and the birds playing in the snow are gorgeous. We had snow yesterday as I participated in a dawn-to-dusk Christmas Bird Count...snow or ice/rain from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.--yeah! It was very pretty, though...

sharon said...

Love the photos of the Long Tailed Tit - my favourite bird! Fingers crossed your tally keeps increasing for this month.

Pete Woodruff said...

Got out today for the first time in 9 do a WeBS count......WOW!! We got our first snow too, and a bitterly cold north-westerly wind in my mug for 40 minutes whilst I did the count.

Anonymous said...

Great set of photos again, Warren.

Monika said...

47 species, in the snow of December no less! It never ceases to amaze me how many species you turn up on a near-daily basis.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
This is just getting crazy man! Ive been watching the news from all over Europe... Everybody is getting a fairly good amount of snow but Iceland!!! it is freezing nowadays (-6°C) but no snow and they do not plan any for Christmas Eve!!!
Meanwhile, your pictures are very nice and you got a good number of species this month too... So what is your yearly count? I've been stuck at 93 species now, and there is nothing around to be seen, so my camera is in a deep sleep stage ;-)