Friday, 24 February 2012

It wasn't as sunny, or as warm as yesterday this afternoon, but it was still very acceptable weather for late February.

The walk over to the Lake area this afternoon was a most productive affair, whilst meandering along the path leading through the Wet woods, I stopped, as I always do, to scan the small pools of water beneath the trees, and today I got what I was looking for 3 TEAL (68, 66) the first this year  :-). Two drakes, and a duck were dabbling about, so I quickly took a photo at a distance so as not to flush them, and swiftly moved on. I was quite surprised really, as the lack of rain here has made these pools nothing more than large puddles, but the Teal didn't seem to mind  :-)
You can just pick out the 2 Drakes and the Duck Teal.
Also in the Wet Woods, a TREECREEPER called constantly, and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drummed again.

On the lakes, it was very busy - well about as busy as it gets for these small water bodies! 10 CANADA GEESE were dozing, and 3 pairs of MALLARD were dabbling in the shallows, the 3 COOTS were still present, and as I picked out three MOORHENS under the overhanging tree branches, I also saw a drake MANDARIN DUCK (69,67) another new species for the year! Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of it.  The CORMORANT had returned to its lookout point in the Silver Birch tree, and later came down for a fishing session.

You'll have to forgive my indulgence in Coot photo's, they are scarce birds here !!  :-)
A feeding Canada Goose!  A sight only seen here in recent years, as this particular lake has only just been cleared of the larger fish, allowing the water weed to grow back
There was less activity in the Scrubby Woods than yesterday, I had good, but distant views of a pair of BULLFINCH, and two COAL TITS were singing.

As usual I made a visit to the Pub field, which was totally empty today, and the Tree Nursery, where nothing had changed from yesterday, with the MAGPIES and GREEN WOODPECKERS the only birds seen. I ended my visit with a short sky watch on my seat at Migrant Alley, where the sky was mostly empty, just a few BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS went over, plus the local Corvid population milling around, the ROOKS of which are well into building there nests.
The two new species for the year takes the count to 69, not bad for this early in the year, and the February list hits the record total of 67, joint with the February of 2009. So with two full patch walks this weekend i'll be looking to set that all time February record, a Grey Wagtail is still possible, as is a flyover Mute Swan, or maybe a Brambling at the garden feeders, any of them would do  :-)


Rohrerbot said...

That happened the other day to me. I was looking for those owls again and a crane flew over my head in the middle of nowhere. How does that happen? It's pretty incredible. I can only imagine a Mute Swan. That would be beautiful.

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Expecting to see that Feb record broken by the close of play on Sunday



Warren Baker said...

Keep your eyes to the sky Rohrerbot, anything could go over :-)

Warren Baker said...

No pressure then :-)

ShySongbird said...

Well done on the Teal and Mandarin, Warren, you are doing well there at the moment.

Have you heard that over 16,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Cormorant cull. Apparently the poor anglers say too many of them are eating the fish.... hmmm!

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Songbird :-)

Yea I heard about the clamour to shoot the Cormorants :-( When the morons have culled them, what comes next - Goosanders, grebes or Kingfishers ? Even Otters are not safe !!

ShySongbird said...

And I forgot they are culling Seals in Scotland, pathetic!

Chris said...

What a wonderful set of pictures Warren.... Superb!!! 69 species, wow not bad for this time of the year... Iðm still stuck at 30 over here but I've not been going out that much because of the weather

Marc Heath said...

Love the silhouette shot, something special about those type of shots.

Ken. said...

Nice to see your years total is still creeping up, and doing so well so early in the year.
Good luck with your weekend walks, may you add a few more species to the list.

Dean said...

Two for the year list, Warren. Such a greedy boy ;-)

Jason K said...

Teal and Mandarin in the same day!! Nice one Warren