Saturday, 18 February 2012

A bit of a mixed day today, I had to forgo visiting the College Grounds, a dog agility event was taking place and the whole area was full of snapping, snarling, barking dogs, and their even louder owners! There was a similar event last month, I hope this isn't going to become a monthly thing :-(

Anyway, due to not covering the College grounds the daylist took a bit of a bashing, just 43 species were found this morning, but of those, two were new to the month, first a GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL (64) flew over the Lake area, while on the lakes themselves the BARNACLE GOOSE (65) had turned up again, with its CANADA GOOSE partner  :-) Three other pairs of Canada Geese were also on the lakes, as were 8 MOORHEN, 4 MALLARD, the pair of COOTS plus a KINGFISHER, which sat on the far side of the overhanging trees, far too distant for a photo, not that in the gloomy conditions it would have been very good anyway! A CORMORANT came in and sat atop one of the large Silver Birch Trees, waiting to come down onto the water.

Not much else was seen to set the pulse racing, though once again, as yesterday, I saw the COMMON BUZZARD sitting in the Greenhouse Copse, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were the other raptors seen, but as yet there has been no sighting of a Peregrine this month, I wonder if they have finally left the area now that the Tower has been enveloped in blue screens for nearly a year now  :-(

One achievement for the day was finding 5 Gull species, this has only happened once before in 11 years, as well as the above mentioned Great Black backed Gull, I also had BLACK HEADED, HERRING, COMMON, and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.

Of the winter birds, FIELDFARE was the most recorded, several large flocks passed over headed NW, the only other winter bird recorded was the SISKIN 4 flew over the Wet Woods.

The two new species for the month takes this February up to second place out of 11, joint with 2011, and only 2 behind the record February total of 67, achieved in 2009, so with 3 full patch walks left and 8 shorter afternoon visits a new February record could just possibly be set - maybe a Brambling will turn up at my garden feeders, or a Mandarin Duck on the lakes, a flyover Mute Swan is surely due!  :-)

Photos today were limited by the dull dismal conditions, an attempt at the Canada Geese on the lakes was had, but a more successful shoot in my garden, during a 'bright spell' was made around midday, before rain set in later.
Canada Goose
Canada Goose
Lastly, and my favourite for the day, a typical DUNNOCK, skulking among the some old decaying logs  :-)


Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Great Dunnock shot. I'm assuming the second herring gull on your list was a lesser blacky. Only a 5 gull day! get excited at a 7 or 8 gull day



Jason K said...

A good mix of birds Warren. I could do with Great Black-backed for my patch year list

ShySongbird said...

Love that Dunnock photo, Warren, yes they definitely do skulk and Wrens do too, well they do in my garden.

I hope the Peregrines haven't left for good, that would be a real shame... and there wouldn't be any more hunting for it on your photos ;-)

By the way, did you realise you don't have a link to your blog on your profile, so that if someone sees one of your comments on a blog and clicks on your photo to find out if you have a blog of your own there is no link and that would be the same if someone clicked on your photo in the followers gadget too. I only mention it because you may be missing out on some visitors by not having a link.

Warren Baker said...

You assume correctly Davo! My mistake, sorted it now - thanks :-)

Songbird, i'll see what I can do about the link :-)

Wilma said...

I hope the peregrines show up again. I had to go in to my office for a bit this morning and I see a pair of peregrines flying around and perching on the tall buildings near their nest box. They are so beautiful to watch; I know you miss yours.

Marc Heath said...

Are you sure the bird feeders are not hanging on your fingers with the camera in the other hand, exceptionally close shots.

Rohrerbot said...

Skulking. I love that word. I had another one of those days again....random bird pops out of nowhere. I'm supposed to be doing a photo shoot for an organization and out of nowhere pops out a Vermilion Flycatcher! So what did I do on my break?:) AND the bird I had a new guest appear! A warbler! And a rare one for this time of year. Pretty exciting....I imagine your own excitement during your last discovery. Weekends and hiking fly by too fast!

Anonymous said...

Don`t knock it. You had better all round day than what i had, Warren.

Alan Pavey said...

Great pics Warren, I'm really struggling to add anything at the moment but then it is Feb. I suppose!

Warren Baker said...

Those garden bird shots were taken from 3 meters away, with my 500mm lens! Great fun :-)

biker-bri said...

Hi Warren how are you finding the new lens, it's one that I have been looking at for a while ( just got to convince the wife!!!) how about writing a review for us OAP's - that's "older armature photographer's"
As always fantastic photos
Regards Brian