Saturday, 6 February 2010

The first full patch walk of February took place this morning, in the warmest conditions of the year so far, making it a pleasant affair, especially in the sunshine that was on offer later in the walk.

Five new species were added to the February bird list, the highlight of these being PEREGRINE FALCON (46), one was seen heading for the tower carrying its prey as I crossed the Tree Nursery around 07:30, and a few minutes later its partner was seen flying to the same place, but without breakfast! It was as I watched the second Peregrine that the next new species was seen flying over, just a little higher up - two CORMORANTS (47).

Upon reaching Migrant Alley, I found it empty of birds, unsurprising as the two peregrine flew over here to get to the tower! However as I reached the last paddock, the REDWINGS and FIELDFARE had started to filter back onto the fields. The walk through the college grounds and gardens held no surprises, but many of the common Tits, Finch's, and Thrushes, were seen, as well as both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, also a GOLDCREST was found in one of the pine trees, one of 3 found today.

The return walk, across the college sports pitch was eventful, 43 BLACK HEADED GULLS, with a mixed flock of around 50 Fieldfare and Redwing were seen on the muddy pitch, but two more new species for the month that flew over gave me more interest, a STOCK DOVE (48), and a skein of 9 GREYLAG GEESE (49).

At the Halfway point of the walk I had 39 species on the list, a good tally, but I had recorded species like MALLARD and MOORHEN which are normally seen on the second half of the walk, so there would be less to add there now. This proved to be the case, as only 6 more species were added. A COAL TIT that was singing in the Small Holding, another songster, the MISTLE THRUSH that was on the edge of the Wet Woods, a TREECREEPER was with a flock of LONG TAILED TITS in the Woods, my second flock of the day, and both PIED WAGTAIL and COMMON GULL were seen flying over. The last species of the day proved fortuitous, as it was the 50th species for the month, a pair of NUTHATCH'S (50) that were observed chasing one another in the scrub area around the lake. Frustratingly nothing was on the lake, except Mallards, not surprising, as the gas cannons are still going off it sounds like WW3 has broken out at times!

45 species were recorded today, in a little over 3 and a half hours - about average for a February morning.

Above: A pair of Mallards that flew from the wet ditch.

Above: One of the Nuthatch's in the scrubby area around the lake

Above is the wet ditch that the Mallards flew from, it forms the NW boundary of my patch. I always hope a wader might fly up from here, but in eight years of walking it only a single Snipe has ever been seen!

Below is a COAL TIT, this one was in my garden this afternoon.


ShySongbird said...

It has been much different here Warren, dull and cold!

It amazes me how often you see Goldcrests, I never see any.

Great photo of the Mallards and nice to see the Nuthatch too.

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
The coal tit shot is fantastic, and you got so many species again in this month. That's incredible.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Five new month species can't be bad .
Like the flying Mallards .
Just hedgelaying for me today .

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

To quote Reservoir Catz - put one of those goldcrests on ebay and I'll give you top dollar - where are they up here???



Anonymous said...

Well done on the monthly additions Warren.
That ditch looks good for a few species. I`m sure you`ll jam in on something soon.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: That Mallard shot is a beauty, did you follow them or set your camera to stop them?