Saturday, 12 February 2011

At last, the first full patch walk of February got underway this morning, but the weather again played it's part, rain first thing petered out, to leave a grey cloudy visit, but at least it wasn't cold or windy.

I was eager to find some new species for the February list today, and felt sure I would pick up one, but it wasn't to be, even the extended 5 hours walk didn't do the trick. The day list reached an average total of 44, but that was increased to 46 when both SPARROWHAWK and COAL TIT were seen in my garden this afternoon.

Early highlights from this morning included a nice flock of 57 FIELDFARE that were on the Pub Field maize stubble, and a flyover CORMORANT at Migrant Alley, along with a KESTREL. Also seen here, of note, were single SKYLARK and YELLOWHAMMER.

A good selection of common species were seen and heard at the College Grounds, including GOLDCREST, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLE THRUSH, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, PHEASANT, and JAY. A total of 43 BLACK HEADED GULLS and just 1 HERRING GULL were on the College Sports pitch, and whilst ending the first half of my visit 2 LITTLE OWLS were heard duetting in the small copse by the Greenhouse Complex.

The second half of my visit was undertaken in similar dull dreary conditions, despite the promise of sunny spells from the forecasters. The 3 lakes held 2 MOORHEN, 2 CANADA GEESE and 3 MALLARD between them, whilst the regular species of BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH , TREECREEPER, LONG TAILED TIT, MARSH TIT and the likes were seen in the Scrubby Wood. I also had great close views of 3 more Goldcrest feeding together, bringing the total of this species to 13 for the day! A pair of GREYLAG GEESE flew over as I ended my visit, which was just a tiny bit disappointing, but still, some good birds were seen today.

The sunny spells did eventually arrive later in the afternoon, and allowed me to take some photographs of the 'tits' at the feeders, as well as the Grey Squirrel, pain that they are :-) Later on I managed to do some light work on one of my mini ponds, and found a cracking male Common Newt :-)

Above and below Marsh Tit, you can see the pale primary feather that I mentioned the other day.

Here's one of the many Blue Tits :-)

Lastly the pain in the backside squirrel that keeps nicking all the food!


Marc Heath said...

A good list of species for the day and some nice shots, I wouldn't mind any kind of Marsh Tit shot, you done well.

ShySongbird said...

What a shame, there was me thinking you were enjoying a day of glorious sunshine, we have had it most of the day here. Rain forecast for us tomorrow though which is when I would have been able to get out :(

Thirteen Goldcrests! That sounds really good, especially after the hard weather.

Nice garden bird photos, not sure if I already said but I thought I might have seen a Marsh Tit in my garden last week but it was too quick for me to be certain.

Naughty Squirrel! Nice photo though :)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
The sunshine came a bit too late for my walk :-(

It will happen one day!

Alan Pavey said...

That was a good long session and more great pics of Marsh Tit,great stuff :-)

Phil said...

Nice Marsh Tit pics Warren. I think my five squirrels have surrendered in the face of my new squirrel proof feeders:-)

Simon said...

Agree, nice Marsh Tit pics! :-)

Chris said...

Wow you saw so many species and so many goldcrest. Incredible. I hope you will enjoy a full sunny day soon... It is the same over here, storm and rain... The snow is gone now!

Marc Heath said...

Lets see if this works as I have been typing my comments on my Blackberry phone. Nice Marsh Tit photos, what i would give for one of them at Reculver.

Anthony Miners said...

Lovely Marsh tits captures.

Pete Woodruff said...

A man after my own heart with a 5 hours walk....great stuff Warren and yes, excellent pics.

Anonymous said...

I echo what everyone says about the Marsh Tit pics, Warren. Nice ones.

Phil and Mandy said...

lovely shots of the marsh tit Warren.