Monday, 19 December 2011

By the time I had finished work this afternoon, the weather had taken a turn for the worse - not that it was that good to begin with! Rain fell as I walked home, and a thick mist set in, however as I trudged home in the gloom I  did see a flock of LAPWING fly up from the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, 28 in all, and the KESTREL was up hunting over the Greenhouse Complex, better still the first two GRAYLAG GEESE (59) of the month flew over, a welcome addition to the December list, taking it to joint fifth place with 2006 in the top ten rankings :-)

Once home, a cup of tea and a seat by the window to watch the garden feeders seemed the best way to spend the last 90 mins of remaining daylight. I watched 15 species come and go, by far the most numerous were the BLUE TITS, which peaked at 25 minimum, they flew around like flies on ripe fruit, dashing from the sunflower hearts, to the fat feeders and then the peanuts, Blue Tits everywhere!!  Just 4 GREAT TITS were with them, and two COAL TITS.

The finch's were well represented, with peak counts of 7 CHAFFINCH, 7 GOLDFINCH and six GREENFINCH. On the floor, a gang of 22 STARLINGS fought over the fat pellets that I sprinkled on the lawn, and both ROBIN and DUNNOCK made dashes from cover to retrieve one or two for themselves, a trick that two BLACKBIRDS learnt to emulate  :-)

11 COLLARED DOVES crammed on to the seed tray, at times excluding everything else, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS flashed their spotted wings at each other, as they span round on the large peanut feeder, and a third fed on the sunflower hearts. It was a bit disappointing to see just one HOUSE SPARROW,  this species is now outnumbered by the NUTHATCH'S ! Of course not a half hour goes past without a SPARROWHAWK attack, and I witnessed 3 failed attempts by a male, thwarted by the sheer number of ever alert eyes, and the prompt  ''alarm call'' of the Blue and Great Tits  :-)

Not a bad way to spend 90 mins!


Marc Heath said...

Looks like a Goose month for you, maybe Bean or Pink foot tomorrow then!

Anonymous said...

Very envious of your feeder activity, Warren. All i can manage at the mo, is boring old Collared Doves.

Sharon said...

I'll swap you half of my House Sparrows for half of your Blue Tits Warren :)
Sparrows are all I seem to get at the moment - with a couple of Blackcaps thrown in every now & then!

Warren Baker said...

Sounds a good deal Sharon :-) I'd love a Blackcap in december even more though :-)