Thursday, 20 January 2011

Above: Bluebells just showing through the leaf litter :-)

I got my wrists slapped for saying the day was ''uneventful'' on yesterdays post, but it was a run of the mill January day, nothing unusual was seen, although what was seen may have been unusual for others :-).

So what of today ? Well, dare I say it ? Uneventful again :-) everything I saw this afternoon could be described as the regular pittswood sightings, not that I take them for granted, it was great to see a MAGPIE, CARRION CROW and JAY all getting excited about something up in an ivy clad Oak tree in the Small Holding. I got excited too, I thought maybe they were mobbing a Tawny owl, but as I approached the tree, a male SPARROWHAWK flew out, I might of known!

Passing through the Wet Woods, again, there were at least 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, and as yesterday MALLARDS were dabbling in the tangled, water filled pits. SISKINS were heard going over, as well as REDWING, and a TREECREEPER sang from nearby, but seemed to stammer the final note, adding a few to the normal upwardly inflected bit at the end, sounded odd :-)

The lakes were as I left them yesterday - empty, but for a few Mallard and MOORHEN, my trek around the scrubby wood didn't reveal a feeding flock, only a couple of BULLFINCH and a GOLDCREST with a few more Redwing in the leaf litter. I gave it about 45 mins, and kept going to the lake to check it, a bit like when you go to the fridge repeatedly for something nice, but you know there's nothing there but cheese and milk :-)

The return walk once again took me through the Tree Nursery, but the work crew were there, so nothing was seen but DUNNOCKS and BLACKBIRDS, although 47 Redwing were a nice sight as they bounded over. The tree nursery is meant to be closing in March, in one way it will be nice, because of less disturbance, but in another way not so nice, as my patch will lose the good habitat of the young trees and shrubs, and may quite possibly revert to that dreadful sheep pasture :-(

I just had time to check out Migrant Alley, albeit from a distance, far out in the paddocks, on the sunnyside of the field were around 20 WOODPIGEON and 30 FIELDFARE, but my 10 minute skywatch only produced BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS.

The month/year list is beginning to falter a little now, but the 66 species already seen so far is the second best January total out of the Ten, and one more species than last year, which ended up being my best year ever, so i'm on track still :-)

I got home at dusk and saw this ROBIN singing, a bit of a grainy image, but not bad given the light.


Derek Faulkner said...

Why is reaching a certain total so important, is it not possible to just simply walk round and enjoy a lovely day in the countryside without worrying about "that total" all the time.
I'm quite amazed at the bluebells, my snowdrops are shoots just one inch high and bluebells haven't even broke the surface yet and won't for a few weeks yet.

Warren Baker said...

Derek, it's not important to reach a certain total, maybe I make it sound so ?

I like to give myself these targets, as it gives me the enthusiasm to go out, even on the dreary winter afternoons.

As for the Bluebells, these are on a sheltered, sunny side of the woods, so it makes all the difference, the other shady side of the woods has none showing yet, but they will catch up, and they will all flower together :-)

Phil said...

Hi Warren. Good to see a few signs of spring, however small. You're two ahead of me now for the year, I added a much missed Kingfisher today so that makes me 64 for the month and a reasonable 42 species seen today during a fairly quiet few hours. Still a week and a half to go........anything can happen!

Warren Baker said...

Well done Phil, nice to hear of another Kingfisher that survived the winter :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Also found a few Bluebells pushing through along with the odd Primrose , up on the Greensand Ridge this week .
Keep up the good talk .

ShySongbird said...

What could be nicer, a Bluebell promising that Spring is on the way and a pretty little Robin to greet your return home...perfect :) And you can send me the cheese if you don't want it, as long as it's tasty ;)

Marc Heath said...

I think as you say Warren, it gives you the enthusiasm to go out every day to see the birds. It also makes you look at every bird whether you are counting or just in case its a goody!

Paul said...

Hi Warren, no Bluebells here, but we have Snowdrops in the Church grounds.

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
I know you say at times "Uneventful." but aren't the usual bird species the bread and butter of birding, anything else is the filling in the sandwich.
Good finding the Bullfinch's and Goldcrest

Jason K said...

I love the photo of the bluebell pushing kind of sums up being on the verge of another spring...with all that it may bring!

Anthony Miners said...

Great to see the Bluebells and lovely Robin image.

Anonymous said...

I think we do to some extent take the everyday species for granted Warren, but if they weren`t there, we`d definitely miss them.

Alan Pavey said...

I'll be keeping an eye out for bluebells, here now!! I like Dereks question, I think it illustrates perfectly why birding is so popular as you can approach it from so many ways, whether it's just looking out of a kitchen window at feeding birds or maybe studying migration patterns for scientific research or all those things in between which are enjoyed by each of us :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Dean's hit the nail on the head there Warren we would miss the usual if it was no longer there. But then the kids round here don't miss house sparrows cos they never see them so it's very important to continue to record the 'usual' cos some day that info might just help protect them for the future. in the meantime keep enjoying those birds...still sick you've got bluebells comin up!