Sunday, 3 January 2010

The last of my holiday walks today, back to work tomorow - bah! Once again there was a frost, and it felt cold, especially out at Migrant Alley, at the end of the walk a snow shower blew in, but it didn't amount to much.

As yesterday, there were very few birds around, and it was a struggle to find anything but the most common resident species. It wasn't until i got to the stream by the College that i found anything of note, when one of the Alder trees had a mix of GOLDFINCH, SISKIN and REDPOLL feeding in it, involving around 30 birds.

A walk round the College grounds in the hope of finding the years first Kingfisher, was thwarted, as the ponds were all frozen up, but as I walked back across Migrant Alley on my return leg, things picked up a bit, when firstly a STOCK DOVE (51), then a minute or so later a PEREGRINE FALCON (52) flew over, two more for the year list!

The KESTREL was once again hunting around the Green house Complex, but there was no sign of either Yellowhammer, Skylark, or Meadow Pipit.

The cloud started to roll in as I started the second half of my walk, which was also very quiet, the only bird encountered in the wet woods was a bit of a surprise really, a GREY WAGTAIL (53) was picking at seeds on one of the frozen pools, a nice addition to the year list. On the way to the lake I found a feeding flock of LONG TAILED TITS, which had COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, TREECREPER and NUTHATCH amongst them, as I watched them feeding they all stopped their contact calls and went into alarm mode, which meant one thing - SPARROWHAWK, and sure enough a male went past slow and menacingly.

The lake was frozen, as I feared, and now had a dusting of snow on it, all I saw there were two MALLARDS, hunched up under a tree overhang. Back on the home leg the snow shower came through, but I managed to see the LITTLE OWL at roost, and as I neared home a fourth addition to the year list flew over in the form of a LAPWING (54).

Above: Long Tailed Tit - Just about to take off!

Above the Grey Wagtail on the ice in the Wet Woods

Above is the ice locked lake, the two Mallards can just be seen hunkering down.
Below is a view that the Little owl gets as it views out across Marchants field and the Tree Nursery, a snowy one today!


swatson said...

great shot of the lovely longtailed tit.I also love the photo of the little owl on one of your previous posts Warren,what a beauty.Been snowed in here in the north east but it makes good bird watching.Happy new year

Greenie said...

Warren ,
54 species , and not a stroke of work done .
That can't be bad !

Jann said...

Wow, 54 species so far?! I've probably seen about 5! But then I haven't been out but once in 2010 so far. I'm waiting anxiously for March, when the birds start coming back. We've got fog and icy cond's right now, it's been cold and yucky most of the past several days. Glad you can entertain me in the meantime w/ your nice photos!

Ipin said...

Aye Warren - it's a four-letter word....WORK..I'm back tomorrow for one day then I 'm on Jury Service for god-knows how long..

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Are you kidding?? 54 species in 3 days!!! Man, I need to live in another country!! That's simply incredible, you are almost at half of your last year number!! Well I hope you will get some more new species this year as all other birding pal! I've seen 3 rares species already and I'm quite happy.. Let see what 2010 will bring.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
A good days birding I would say. Stock Dove is a good bird to get, you don't see enough of them these days.
Nice photo of the Grey Wag.

Anonymous said...

Well done on the additions, Warren.

By heck, that last picture makes for a bleak looking scene.