Friday, 30 December 2011

Sunrise through the Wet Woods - all ten minutes of it!!
Yet more grey, damp and overcast skies spilled in from the south west, blotting out the ten minutes of sunshine that was had first thing this morning, it really has been an incredible run of dull days this Christmas!

The birds don't perform so well in these conditions, as is only to be expected, but this mornings 41 species wasn't too bad a show. Nothing new for the month/year list was encountered, but a distant view of 6 Ducks flying away from me over the Wet Woods whilst I was at the College Grounds, were probably Goosander by the looks of them, frustrating !

It was the College Grounds that gave me most interest for the visit today, where I watched 4 LESSER REDPOLL feeding with 3 BULLFINCH, I had taken the camera out with my smaller 300mm lens to try and gather more light, but the photo's I got of them were rubbish, and I deleted them! Also in the College Grounds were quite a few finch's, more GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH than GOLDFINCH, but an increase in all from recent visits. The third TREECREEPER of the morning was with a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, and a pair of GOLDCREST that joined them were closely examined to try and turn them into Firecrsets  :-)

The sheep pasture at Migrant Alley had 67 BLACKHEADED GULLS, and with them today was a COMMON GULL, only the second one recorded this month. A SPARROWHAWK over the Greenhouse Complex, and a KESTREL over the Tree Nursery were the only raptors of the day, and just one REDWING and one FIELFARE, both in the Small Holding, were all I saw of the winter thrushes.

Still nothing of note on any of the lakes, but the surrounding Scrubby Woods had the usual species in small numbers, NUTHATCH, Treecreeper, Bullfinch, COAL TIT, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER...etc..

Later in the day, as I watched the garden feeders, there was  not one Sprawk visit :-) , as a consequence the feeders were inundated with birds! I recorded 20 species using my garden, including peak counts of 22 Geenfinch, 9 Chaffinch, and 7 Goldfinch, 23 BLUE TITS, and 11 COLLARED DOVES, best of all though, was my first Lesser Redpoll for the garden since March, the 24th species to visit this month. Not as good as the cold Decembers of 2009 and 2010, when a total of 27 and 29 were recorded respectively, but this December is still the fourth best out of ten, in terms of species visiting.

I took some pretty poor photo's, but considering the poor light, and rain spattered windows I shot through, I'm surprised the images were as clear as they are!!

No more room at the feeder!  The blur to the bottom right was a Blue Tit  :-)
This Great Tit came out slightly better, it wasn't raining at this point
Lesser Redpoll - Typical it should arrive in such rubbish weather, that said, this is the best photo I have of a Lesser Redpoll!
 or is this the best photo I have of one   ;-)




11 comments:

Alan Pavey said...

A close call on which is the best photo!! to get the whole bird and not be looking through lots of twigs is a real bonus :-)

Warren Baker said...

Alan,
You describe well my efforts, of the Redpolls I tried to photograph earlier in the day :-)

Christian said...

Hi Warren. It's good to see that Greenfinches are still doing well somewhere in the country. I've not seen one in the garden since the summer.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

That redpoll looks a bit bright and crispy to me - you sure its not a mealy? Have butcher's here http://birdingfrontiers.com/2011/02/02/browner-mealy-redpoll/

Other separation tips are available

Cheers

Davo

Marianne said...

I had the same thought as Davo when I saw the redpoll pics...

Nice to see a feeder thronged with Greenfinches!

Warren Baker said...

Marianne, Davo,

I can see what you mean about the Redpoll. However, the whiteness of the bird is down to the high ISO I used on the Camera, it was not that pale in real life - honest! I did give it a good looking over after i took the photo's :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

I'd still be inclined to give the rump and under tail coverts/vent area good grilling tomoz if if reappears - fingers crossed

Cheers
D

Warren Baker said...

Davo,
If it comes back i'll give it a good looking at again :-)

Marianne said...

Grilled rump of redpoll - yum ;)

Bob Bushell said...

How long was it there, 10 minutes said Warren. I'm still waiting. Great, the birds always get their meal. The Greenfinches are hungry, and Redpolls are number 1 my favourites.

Steve Ashton said...

I think the weather was dull over the last Christmas period aswell Warren, a tadge frustrating. Still it can only get better throughout January, I hope.