Friday, 19 February 2010

I thought the weather was meant to improve today, however as I left for my full patch walk this morning it was cold, and drizzling, with the odd flake of snow.

I was out for 3 hours today, and recorded 41 species, 7 of those were not seen yesterday, the first being a pair of GREY LAG GEESE that flew over Migrant Alley early on, the KESTREL was back hunting over the Greenhouse Complex and another was hunting over the lakeside scrub, as was a SPARROWHAWK, neither of these species turned up yesterday. A field of grass just off the west end of ashes lane had 32 BLACK HEADED GULLS on it and with them was the fourth species that was not seen yesterday - 3 COMMON GULLS, a good number for my patch, another Gull species, LESSER BLACK BACKED was seen flying over, not had one of these since the 7th.

A good number of finch's were feeding in an alpaca enclosure, adjacent the small holding, in all around 40 GREENFINCH, 18 CHAFFINCH, and 9 GOLDFINCH were feeding on the floor, they were probably eating the seeds of the Hornbeam trees which overhang the enclosure. It was interesting to see a flock of BLUE TITS with them, I counted 24, strange to see bunches of Blue Tits feeding from the floor! Whilst watching this lot, a STOCK DOVE flew from one of the nearby pear trees - didn't see one of those yesterday, and a little further on a PIED WAGTAIL was seen, the final species from this morning that didn't show yesterday.

On the lake I was disappointed not to see the Tufted Duck, I thought it may have stayed the night, but no, so it was back to watching the MALLARDS, CANADA GEESE and MOORHENS!

Another short 40 min trip out to the Lake area was had this afternoon, and I found a few more species that weren't picked up this morning, LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT and NUTHATCH all were found as I passed through the Wet Woods, as well as two SISKIN in a Pine tree situated on the bank of the lake, where were they yesterday ? I decided I would check out the top lake again, just to make sure nothing had dropped in since this mornings visit, it had, but it was only 3 Greylag geese and 7 more Canada Geese, as I walked back past the main lake I saw an odd looking duck out in the middle of the water, I raised my bins and was pleased to find it was a drake MANDARIN DUCK (69 57) Yes! Another good species for the year list, it took me until the 2nd of November last year to get the only sighting of this colourful Duck, when 3 turned up. Not as rare as the Tufty, or the Coot in fact, but still a difficult species to find on the patch lakes!

At the end of the day I had a good tally of 46 species, 9 that were not seen yesterday. Over the two days, a total of 49 species was recorded, so things are definitely looking up!

Above: A GREEN WOODPECKER, this one was on the college sports pitch

Above: A FIELDFARE, plenty of them about today, but they will soon be off north to breed.

Above: The drake mandarin duck - nice!

Today I managed to pick my new Camera and lens up -a Canon 50D with a 70 -300 stabilized zoom lens. I took a couple of garden pics just to check it all worked ok, and it does!



Anonymous said...

Nice tick Warren, and good luck with the camera buddy

Anonymous said...

The camera is working flawlessly. The pictures are fine examples birds in your area.

It is often hard for me to think in terms of birds being totally different in different places. We also have birds in the middle of this country totally different from anything around here and so the same on the West Coast.

I never think about what one of my bird pictures might look like to somebody in the UK. It is the same as my car and how odd it might look to somebody in Germany or China or India. I suppose we just all think these animals are international and everyone knows what they are.

ShySongbird said...

Great to see the Mandarin Duck Warren, such an exotic looking bird!

You seem to have got the hang of the new equipment already and are obviously going to have great fun with it :)

Forest the Bear said...

Nice result on the Mandarin Warren!...this new camera thing seems to be catching in the birderblogosphere.

I have toy envy! :o)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with the Mandarin .
Happy shooting with the new gear .

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Nice number of species that you got for this month and the year lsit is increasing quite well!!! You got a very nice day and nice observation... Well done on the mandarin duck and the woodpecker! I'd love to see them!!

Sharon said...

Well done on the Mandarin Duck!
Lovely photos too with your new camera! How did you get the hang of it so quickly?! I'm still getting used to the different settings on mine!

Anonymous said...

When you`ve done with that Mandarin, can you kick it up towards me please, Warren.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: What fun bird captures, Love the Green Woodpecker.

swatson said...

lovely photo of the green woodpecker a bird I havent had the pleasure of seeing.Such a pretty bird too