Wednesday, 1 February 2012

It was blowing a bitingly cold easterly today, making it easily the coldest day of the whole winter so far, but this was made up for by the wall to wall sunshine that accompanied it, and actually, out of that wind and in the sunshine it didn't feel too bad  :-)

The early walk to work produced a few species for the February list, not quite light enough yet but getting there with everyday now. The ROBIN, SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, WOODPIGEON, JACKDAW, CARRION CROW and ROOK kicked off the months list. The walk home from work was relatively poor, but with the icy wind blowing across the fields and paddocks it was to be expected, I did find HERRING GULLS and BLACK HEADED GULLS out on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley though, and in the shelter of the Greenhouse Grounds, DUNNOCK, CHAFFINCH, STARLING, WREN, BLUE TIT and KESTREL were seen.

As I ate a quick sandwich at home before setting off out over to the lakes, I watched the garden feeders and  added GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, COLLARED DOVE, GREAT TIT, and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER to the February count, 20 already, only 47 more species to find to equal the February record, set in 2009  :-)

I visited the field just off Ashes lane where the local farmer has grown a 'wildbird crop' and it payed dividends for me, the flock of 30-40 YELLOWHAMMER were still present, and I also got the bonus of finding a REED BUNTING amongst them, I suspect there may be more, but getting close to the flock is very difficult. I carried on to the Lakes via the Small Holding and Wet Woods, adding GREEN WOODPECKER, MAGPIE, TREECREEPER, JAY, and COAL TIT as I went.

On the lakes I was pleased to see the pair of COOTS still around, a good species for February ( well any month really!)  also a GREY HERON and 3 MOORHENS were there, as well as the ever present MALLARDS who's numbers had increased to 24. In and around the scrubby Woods a good selection of species were added to the months list, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, SISKIN, GOLDCREST, PHEASANT, and the star bird a WOODCOCK - fantastic sighting for here!  :-)

I confess to cutting the visit a little short, as the wind was starting to chill me, so I went back home to see what would turn up at the feeders, which was not without some success, as the expected SPARROWHAWK came through, and four LONG TAILED TITS came in later on.

So, 39 species to get the month rolling, I was quite pleased with that, especially with the Reed Bunting, Coot and Woodcock. :-)
Photo's today come from the garden feeders - same old faces, but they brighten the page  :-)

Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Long Tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker - still not quite sure whether to come out of hiding whilst I'm watching !


Marc Heath said...

Love the top coal Tit shot, looks like it was on the end of your lens. Some very nice birds for the start of the month.

Rohrerbot said...

I'll take cold over cloudy anyday!:) Glad you had a great start to your February. Your walk sounds really nice!

biker-bri said...

Like the shots of the blue tit feeding, I managed to catch one feeding on some bull rushes at Burton mere last week.
Regards Bri

Anonymous said...

Two in front of me at this early stage, Warren.
Good luck for the rest of the month.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
I agree with your first comment , as long as you could find somewhere out of that wind .
Couldn't get on your comment page last night , seems others couldn't either .

Jason K said...

30-40 Yellowhammer is a good size winter flock. I still havent located my Yellowhammers this winter Warren...they are still absent from my patch 2012 list

Alan Pavey said...

Well done with the Woodcock, I found one shot here at Sissinghurst a week or so ago very upsetting as there shouldn't be any shooting here and they are so difficult to find these days.

ShySongbird said...

You had a good visit Warren. Well done on the Woodcock!

Always nice to see the photos from your feeders.