Saturday, 3 December 2011

The first full patch walk of December began with rain, making it a rather late start, plus it didn't get light till 07:30hrs.  Around 09:45hrs that  rain cleared and some sunny spells developed, making it a rather warm December day, but just look what it was like on this date last year!!

Ashes Lane on the Morning of Dec. 3rd last year

I was out for a little over 3 hours, recording 43 species in that time, which is just about average for a December day. The first species that was added to the months list today was the HOUSE SPARROW (44) half a dozen were in the hedgerow along Ashes Lane. Nothing much out of the ordinary was seen as I walked over to the lakes, through the Small Holding and Wet Woods, just ones and two's of BLUE and GREAT TITS, CHAFFINCH, BLACKBIRDS, COLLARD DOVES and ROBINS, plus all the Corvid, MAGPIE, JACKDAW, CARRION CROW and JAY.

A LESSER REDPOLL was sat at the very top of a fir tree, calling and singing, as I entered the Lake area, where song was also heard from WREN, DUNNOCK, Robin, MISTLETHRUSH, TREECREEPER and SONGTHRUSH. On the 3 water bodies, nothing more exciting than the MALLARD and MOORHEN were seen, as is the case 90% of the time, but as I watched and waited, a CORMORANT circled over, but didn't come in, also noted going over was the second new species for the month - FIELDFARE (45) five of which called, and dropped down into the Scrubby Woods, my walk round here provided me with the familiar species of BULLFINCH, the first  GREENFINCH (46) of the month, PHEASANT, LONG TAILED TIT and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER.

Making my way over to the Tree Nursery, Pub Field, and Migrant Alley, all was pretty quiet really, numbers of birds being very small, but I added a flyover YELLOWHAMMER (47) and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL (48) to the December tally, as well as SKYLARK (49), two flew up from the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley. The fiftieth monthly species was a good bird to get here, and the first to be recorded in any December - yes, it was another sighting of the RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE (50) as it flew into the Greenhouse Complex Grounds  :-)

It was now a bit late for walking the College Grounds, too many people were about by now, but I did it anyway, finding GOLDCREST, MEADOW PIPIT, GOLDFINCH, PIED WAGTAIL and the only Raptor today KESTREL, also one more for the months list when a STOCK DOVE (51) flew over, the months list moves on to 51, still 5 behind the lowest total achieved for the ten years, hopefully, that will be passed in tomorrows visit!

Despite some good sunny spells I didn't get any photographic chances, so here's another snowy scene from this day last year - this was from my garden.

10 inches of snow on the garden this time last year!


Marc Heath said...

I remember it well. I must confess I love the snow and hope we get a few days this or next year. Makes for a lovely photo though although not the greatest for the birds.

Warren Baker said...

Blimey that was a quick comment Marc, I'd not even re-read the post and rectified my text mistakes!

I like a bit of snow too, especially when I get a day off work 'cos of it :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

Surprised that you include RLP's on your lists, they and Pheasant are never recorded on our lists here on The Swale NNR, being just artificially introduced birds in their hundreds or thousands.
You can keep your snow, this mild winter will do me fine and the sooner summer returns the better.

Warren Baker said...

Aw, c'mon Derek, a bit of snow at Xmas makes the occasion :-)

Warren Baker said...

Summer brings its rewards Derek, and enjoyable they are too, then Winter brings its rewards, just as enjoyable, but more of a challenge - the only bit I hate is the shooting twats, of which even at this late hour I can hear the dick head over at the lakes blasting away at the roosting Mallards. cant see much being seen there tomorrow :-(

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Carol and I were only talking about the snow at this time last year over lunch .
The list is going well again .
Forgot to mention , I too had a Song Thrush in full song yesterday at NH .

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

16.46 o'clock and you can hear some ****** shooting roosting ducks in the dark! Where do they find these numpties???

Lovin the snow pics...I like it! Or more precisely I like the total chaos it causes here.


Warren Baker said...

Davo, its the same guy who shot the ''sitting'' ducks the other week.

The police didn't even bother to get back to me about the matter, so I dont think they visited the house - mind you they are very wealthy people, and that, as we know, in this currupt country counts for much....

Sharon said...

Should know by now Warren, it's not what you know it's who you know!!
Sounds like December's tally is off to a great start :)

Anonymous said...

I`d rather have last winter`s weather than the mild stuff we`re getting at the mo, Warren.

Christian said...

It's certainly a very different picture this year Warren - thanks for posting the images as a reminder. let's hope for a milder winter for all our little species this year.