The gloom is still here! Yes, once again an afternoon patch visit was shrouded in misty, grey and cool conditions.
I spent 2 hours out in it this afternoon, and found the bird life to be very subdued, with few birds seen at all. However, my daily visits to the lake area have eventually paid off, a superb pair of GOOSANDER (59) were seen on the main lake, a scarce, but regular winter visitor to my patch. I had a group of 9 visit last month on the 11th, but this pair were the first for February, taking the months species total to 59, putting it in joint 4th place with 2007, for the ten years of recording. I just managed a photo, before the 4 CANADA GEESE started having a loud argument, one pair took flight and the Goosander went with them, all that waiting for something different on the lake and I get a 2min view! 2 pairs of MALLARD and a single pair of MOORHEN were also seen on the water today.
A bash round the scrubby wood was also rewarded today, as well as seeing the expected LONG TAILED TITS, GOLDCREST, and actually getting views of 4 BULLFINCH, I also put up a WOODCOCK, this is a much scarcer bird on my patch than the Goosander, so this was quite productive afternoon :-) I still haven't got a Woodcock photo, and although this one only touched down 20 metres away from me, I didn't want to flush it up twice, and so let it sit, I wonder if this was the same bird I recorded on the 3rd ? Two Woodcock sightings in a month is good going for my patch, I only had three in the whole of last year, indeed, Woodcock was only recently added to my patch list in Jan. 2009.
The gloom began to thicken as I walked over to the Tree Nursery and Pub Field, and very little was seen, a work crew were in the nursery, so was the KESTREL, it was in the next tree along from the nest box - again. Only 2 FIELDFARE were seen on the Pub Field, and apart from a few flyover BLACK HEADED GULLS, the sky remained empty and grey. Talking of Grey, I still haven't recorded a Grey Heron for the month yet, If I don't see one this month it will be the first month Ive not recorded this species since I started watching my patch in January 2002 !!!
Something different on the lakes at last - A pair of Goosander, sorry for the poor photo, they were obscured by my cover :-)