Monday, 27 December 2010




Above : Goldcrest

Below : Great Black Backed Gull, flanked by two Lesser Blacked Backed Gulls.


After missing out on a patch visit in yesterdays sunny weather, due to a Christmas trip to meet up with the family, I was eager to get out onto my patch for some fresh air and exercise this morning, but of course, the sunshine had gone ! :-)



I took the usual route through the first half of my patch, walking along Ashes lane, through the Tree Nursery, Pub Field, Migrant Alley, then onto the College Grounds and back through Migrant Alley, lastly looking round the Greenhouse complex, before home and a halfway break - 2 hours in all.


The regular resident species filled the early part of the list, MAGPIE, BLUE TIT, CARRION CROW, ROBIN, GREAT TIT, BLACKBIRD etc, then the first SISKIN was heard going over, one of many heard and seen throughout my visit, the most of which was a large flock of at least 100 feeding in the Alder trees along the college stream. I had seen a CORMORANT fly over Migrant Alley a little earlier, and both COMMON and BLACK HEADED GULL were hawking over the Pub Field, but that was as exciting as it got until I walked through the College Grounds.


It was there that I stopped to look at the feeders put out by the staff at the College garden center, and as i did I became aware of a familiar trilling!!!! Could it be ? I looked up, and heard the trilling again, yes!! There it was flying across the grey sky, my first patch WAXWING (134, 113, 69) . Fan -bloody -tastic !! My turn at last, they seem to have been reported everywhere this winter, and I thought I was going to miss out, id even seen them at work, but now they were on my patch, well, over it to be exact, but that still counts :-) I excitedly sent out a few texts, and whilst doing so another little triller flew over, my second patch Waxwing :-) :-)


I carried on through the College Grounds, not seeing much around me, but again it was the sky that brought me a reward, two LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS along with my first GREAT BLACK BACK GULL (70) this month, went over heading westwards, a little further behind them were 11 HERRING GULLS, making up 5 species of gull for the visit, the first time I've ever achieved this feat !


The rest of the first part of the patch visit went much as expected, I found just one SNIPE by the Greenhouse Complex, there may have been more but I didn't go and flush them, and a few FIELDFARE were noted going over.


The second part of the walk, through the Small Holding, Wet Woods and Lakes area was less exciting, but it was good to record both SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL out hunting, as well as flyovers from YELLOWHAMMER plus only my second GREY HERON of the month. Long Tailed Tits were not about this morning, but there regular companions NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER and COAL TIT were recorded, the latter two were prompted to sing by the warmer conditions. Also recorded were 6 BULLFINCH, up to 16 REDWING, and two GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS all in the lakeside scrub area, while a flyover of 3 MALLARDS were only my third sighting for this species this month. The MOORHEN, which had a 100% sighting rate until this month, were not seen for the 3rd day running, however there are still 3 coming to my garden. This should all change as the weather starts to warm up this week and the lake will thaw out for the first time since late November.








18 comments:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Fan -bloody -tastic !! Nice one Warren, or should that be 'nice two'! We can feel your relief from here! Now they need to stick around a week for you...our fingers are crossed.
Not only that a FIVE gull day, Fan -bloody -tastic !! Rarely get them here at Base Camp, only the usual four today, that fifth one is hard!

Cheers

Davo

Warren Baker said...

Cheers dave,
I wish there were some decent berry bearing shrubs on my patch to bring the waxwings down.

Phil said...

Got some at last Warren with just four days to spare, that's cutting it fine!
Like me,you'll need them again for next year soon!

Warren Baker said...

Phil,
It would be a bonus to get one early next year :-)

Stewart said...

Phew, thank god for that Warren ;)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Pleased you finally got the Waxwing , great end to the year .
I only managed the Redwings and Mistle Thrushes whilst I was looking for them .

Marc Heath said...

At last, I hoped you would get some, that call is a fantastic sound. Well done again, what can I predict next for you!!

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Marc,
What about a Merlin :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Well done with the Waxwings Warren.

You'll look back at that record every winter and think - "ah yes, that was a good year. Will they come this year too?"

Bob Bushell said...

Nice one Warren, three photos of the Goldcrest.

Simon said...

Well done Warren!!! Mote Park hasn't got any decent berry-bearing trees either.

Jason K said...

Stunning Goldcrest shots Warren...youve got to feel for the little fellas in this cold snap!

Craig said...

Finally some 'Waxie' action Warren! Well Done!

Dean said...

They took their time in coming. Well done & well deserved Warren.

Kelly said...

Warren...your Goldcrest photos are suburb. They are so hard to photograph (at least our Golden-crowned Kinglets are).

EP Andy said...

Congrats Warren on your Waxwing. spending a lot of time looking and listening for them here in East Peckham, but to no avail. Never mind keep trying. Apologies for the lack of chat recently been very busy but still enjoying your daily reports. Keep them up.

Sharon said...

Congrats on the Waxwings Warren :)
And the photos of the Goldcrest are gorgeous!
Waxwings are still eluding me, they keep showing up in supermarket car parks always a couple of days after I've been :(

Little Brown Job said...

Cracking Goldcrest images Warren.