Sunday, 5 December 2010

The thaw continued on my patch this morning, but there was still plenty of lying snow about, which annoyingly crunched underfoot, making it difficult to pick out the bird calls!

Despite the noisily crunching snow I did manage to find 44 species in the 4 hour visit even though some regular species were not found, like Long Tailed Tit, Jay, Sparrowhawk and Meadow Pipit. However, this was made up by finding the likes of LINNET (50) , and YELLOWHAMMER (51) , both new species for the month. It was also good to hear not one, but two singing TREECREEPERS, one in the College Grounds and one at the lakeside scrub, must be the earliest i've heard treecreepers sing.

Another good bird found was a REED BUNTING (52) that flew over the Greenhouses, a scarce bird on my patch in any month. I checked the wet area of sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, where I found yesterdays SNIPE, and was pleased to see another one feeding there, along with a whole host of other birds drinking and bathing, these included a REDWING, a FIELDFARE, 5 CHAFFINCH, 3 BLACKBIRDS a WREN and 4 SONGTHUSHES, whilst above them in the line of Alder trees, 12 SISKINS and 8 GOLDFINCH were feeding.

I scanned along the field boundary and onto a new flooded area, seeing two MOORHEN and a smaller bird with them, this turned out to be the bird of the day, as it was a GREEN SANDPIPER (110, 53) !!! A year tick! and a record breaking year tick! For this was the 110th species seen this year, making it the best year so far, what a great bird to have set the record, Green Sandpipers are seen very rarely on my patch, in fact this is just the 6th one seen in nine years, 2 were seen in 2002, with one in 2004, 2007 and 2008.

Not much else was seen that differed from yesterdays visit, the lakes were still frozen over, so I still await a Mallard for the months list, but it was an exciting visit for me none the less, and gives me a real boost to see out the end of the year :-)

Photo's today are of this lovely SONGTHRUSH seen in the College Grounds

Another photo of the garden Moorhen :-)

And the not so common, COMMON GULL ( well not common on my patch!)

This next photo intrigued me, on one of the wooden fence posts at Migrant Alley, I found what looks like tiny yellow ladybirds - hundreds of them, and on looking at the rest of the posts, they also had some on, but less in number, how do they survive the cold exposed as they are?


ShySongbird said...

Very well done on the Green Sandpiper Warren and on it being a record breaker!!

The Song Thrush is a real cracker!

I am very intrigued by the 'Ladybirds', I wonder if they could actually be something else entirely as Ladybirds should definitely be tucked away somewhere in hibernation. Hopefully Greenie will have the answer :)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Have a look here Warren

Depending on the size they could be Harlequins but they look all the same. I could be wrong but might expect one or two to be a bit different in a group that size.



Marc Heath said...

Well done on the milestone. Always good to push yourself. Still time for a Waxwing.......maybe!

Warren Baker said...

Songbird, Dave

I dont know if they are ladybirds. They were about a quarter of the size of a regular ladybird, id say aboit 3mm long.

I'll investigate further :-)

Warren Baker said...

Looking at the website Dave sent me, I reckon they are either 22 or 16 spot Ladybirds, grassland being given as their habitat would fit :-)

Jason K said...

Green Sand...what a great bird to get on your patch.

Nice Thrush photo mate!

Monika said...

Congrats on setting the year record! I had a feeling you would get there before the end of the year.

Impressive you were able to hear the treecreepers over the crunching snow, if they sound anything like our creepers (high pitched and not all that loud!).

Also, that is a stunning photo of the songthrush.

Anonymous said...

A record breaking year on many fronts Warren and well done with the Green Sand.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Firstly congratulations on yet another record breaking year .
My thoughts re. your Ladybirds :
I think they are 16 Spot . Ladybirds overwinter as fully grown adults , ready to breed in the Spring . Their size , approx 3mm. , the black line down the length of the body (I think only found in this species) and the lateral spots fused together on many of them all point that way .
This species overwinters in large groups and one of their favourite sites is on fence posts .
They could have emerged into the sun to thaw out a bit , one can be seen still in the split in the post and one a globule of water about to drip if it . The odd one is the top right of the main group which appears to have the M/W marking on it's mask , but again this is probably just variation of the markings .

Chris said...

wow congrats on the record of the year mate!!! Where are you going to stop now ? :-)

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely Thrush pic Warren, Linda