Saturday, 17 December 2011

Dawn - as seen from the College Grounds

Cold, clear, and frosty this morning, and the sun seemed to take an age to rise above the horizon, as it does at this time of year, the above photo was taken at 08:15, an hour into my walk!

The first bird was on the list at 07:20 as I left my house, a pair REDWING, they flew over calling, these were swiftly followed by a calling GOLDCREST as I walked along Ashes Lane. The likes of BLACKBIRD, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, CARRION CROW and SONGTHRUSH all made themselves heard, but unseen, in the pre-dawn light. Making my way through the Greenhouse Complex, I heard a MISTLE THRUSH singing in the distance, and the call of the first WREN of the day came from nearby.

I followed the drainage ditch along the NW boundary of Migrant Alley, in the hope of flushing up a Snipe, but no luck today, so made my way to the College Grounds, where a few more regular patch birds, like GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, BULLFINCH, LONG TAILED TIT, HOUSE SPARROW, and COLLARED DOVE were found for the days list.

The Pub Field was my next destination, and in the growing light I could see at least 100 LAPWING out there, along with 9 BLACK HEADED GULLS, a CORMORANT flew over as I walked the hedgeline towards the Tree Nursery, and here 11 MEADOW PIPITS had returned to the cover of the shrubs.

The second part of the walk took me through the Small Holding, Wet Woods and round to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, the Small Holding added KESTREL and GREEN WOODPECKER to the mornings list, while in the Wet Woods the likes of JAY, MOORHEN, and the mornings first GREAT TIT were added. At the lakes it was a familiar story, just 6 MALLARDS on the main lake, and two on the small lake, and two on the ornamental lake. A KINGFISHER flashed by as I returned past the main lake, and walking over to the Scrubby Woods a NUTHATCH called, and then was seen to perch at the very top of a conifer - too high for a photo! In the Scrubby Woods it was cold, and still quite dark, as the sun still hadn't risen high enough to light the place, as a consequence little was noted, but above me the SPARROWHAWK circled over, and above that a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL flew north.

 I finished the walk by going back over the Tree Nursery, and Greenhouse Grounds, but only added PIED WAGTAIL and YELLOWHAMMER to the mornings tally, which ended on a reasonable, but below average total of 40 species. Nothing added to the months list - where have all the geese gone I wonder ?

Female Blackbird feeding on Haws

A seasons favourite  - Robin
News from the garden this afternoon was of this female Bullfinch, no sign of the males today though.



Jason K said...

Love the photo of the female Blackbird eating the berries Warren. Things were fairly quiet around Shenstone today too

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Jase,
I'm glad its not just my patch thats quiet!

Alan Pavey said...

I agree with Jason, that is a great female Blackbird photo!!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Certainly was chilly this morning , but 5 hours of coppicing kept us warm today .
Agree with the others re. the Blackbird .

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Not even any sign of th peregrines today Warren and only 1 chaffinch in the garden - - - dead all round!!!


Bob Bushell said...

Wow, the sun, the Blackbird, Robin and Bullfinch are truly miraculous, well done Warren.

Christian said...

Robins are bloomin great aren't they mate.

Marc Heath said...

Very much like that Blackbird shot, nice and crisp. Certainly was a bit cold this morning, thank god for the flask!

Anthony Miners said...

Lovely sun set images over past couple of days. Hope yopu get some cracking new images both this year and next. Have a good one.