Saturday, 24 December 2011

Once again the weather turns, and a bright Christmas eve morning welcomed me today. Most of the regular species turned out for the full patch walk, with good total of 46 species seen in all, a bit better than average for a December day.

A GREYLAG GOOSE flew over early in the walk, only the third sighting of one this month, also a few LINNETS were seen leaving their roost around the Greenhouse Complex, where the KESTREL was up hunting. Migrant Alley was full of ROOKS, JACKDAWS and WOODPIGEONS, as well as BLACK HEADED GULLS, 60 of which were spread over the sheep pasture and paddocks. The College Grounds and gardens were quite busy, with GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, BULLFINCH, GOLDFINCH, SISKIN, PIED WAGTAIL seen, as well as the ever present BLUE and GREAT TITS. I heard a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drumming, marking out his territory for the forthcoming spring, which I think will be early this season, if the singing TREECREEPER and the already blooming Snowdrops are anything to go by.

Snowdrop - Early spring  ?

Along the the stream behind the College Grounds, a KINGFISHER was seen, and the only two FIELDFARE of the visit were also found here, below is the dawn as seen from the field next to the Stream

Sunrise over the field by the College Stream
I walked back towards home, via the Pub Field and Tree Nursery, the former had the now almost resident LAPWING flock on it, although the flock numbers does fluctuate, at least 100 were there today, the Tree Nursery had at least 8 MEADOW PIPIT, but nothing more exciting.
After a quick drink at home, I set of for the lakes and Scrubby woods, via the Small Holding and Wet Woods, a SPARROWHAWK sped through, and a BUZZARD slowly drifted over the Small Holding, while the Wet Woods held little to detain me. On the lakes just MALLARD were again seen, but the place had  already been disturbed, although a GREY HERON dropped in to the smallest of the lakes whilst I was there. The habitat around the Lakes, and the Scrubby Woods provided me with NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, GREEN WOODPECKER, PHEASANT, MISTLE THRUSH and JAY to add to the days list, but there were no Redwing here today. The last bird on the list was a flyover STOCK DOVE, the first ive seen for a week or so  :-)

Not a bad walk, considering the amount of disturbance around today, but it's that time of year now, everyones on holiday, and with the dawn being so late, I cant get out before everyone else! Talking of holidays, i'll take the opportunity now to wish all the readers of my blog a very enjoyable Christmas - whatever you're doing  :-)  Have fun!!!


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

All the best Warren - hope Santa brings you a few ticks tomorrow - for your bird list not the horrid biting things :-)



Stringer said...

I think we need to do some swaps again Warren.....Jay and nuthatch would be patch ticks for me !!

Merry bloody christmas !!

Marc Heath said...

Lovely photo with the sun shining through. Have a good Christmas and hope you find a few good birds in the next few days.

Bob Bushell said...

Snow drops, I don't believe it, have a Merry Christmas my friend.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Warren. And enjoy the rest of your days off.

Christian said...

We've had roses in the garden this week Warren. The changing temperatures are playing nasty tricks on the foliage this year! Happy birding at Christmas.

Jason K said...

Snow Drop already!!! thats amazing Warren