Saturday, 11 February 2012

A severe frost had formed overnight, with temperatures down to -10C , and I can tell you I was bloody cold first thing this morning!! In those temperatures, very little song was heard, but as the sun grew ever higher in the sky, the temperature lifted to a much more bearable 2C - eventually!

Sunrise, a few minutes later, can you see the sunspots ? At least thats what I think the two black marks are on the sun  :-)
During the 4 hour visit this morning, a good total of 47 species were found, but none were new to the month or year list. Highlights for the morning included a SNIPE at the NW boundary drainage ditch, a minimum of 75 SISKIN feeding in Alder trees along the College stream, 20-30 YELLOWHAMMER with 5 REED BUNTING in the wildbird crop along Ashes Lane, and a flyover from a flock of 11 LESSER BLACK BACK GULLS.

Other noteworthy finds included a flyover BUZZARD, and 36 LAPWING that were again seen on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, 4 MISTLE THRUSHES were also on the field. The 30+ strong flock of MEADOW PIPIT crossed the lane from the Greenhouse Grounds to the Tree Nursery, fleeing the KESTREL. The pair of COOTS remained on the ice bound lake, but how long can they stay, without open water ?

TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, and LONG TAILED TIT were found in more than one part of my patch, and at last a few FIELDFARES were seen, albeit only flying over, 3 small flocks of around a dozen birds headed SE. More frost expected tonight, but not as severe as the night just gone, so the lakes will not help in incrementing my year or months list, it's here that I would most likely add something if the water was open! Februarys' total is going along quite nicely though, with 60 species, which is the joint fourth best February out of 11, Feb. 2010 ended on 60 species, but I hope to pass that  :-) I still need another 8 species to beat the record set in February 2009 though!

As I got home, a few Siskin flew from my Garden feeders, and later I photographed one of them, this is the 26th species to come to my garden this month, the joint best tally for February, 2009 and 2011 having the same tally.

Photo's today..........of varying quality!
Foraging female BLACKBIRD
Blackbird, Male
Same Blackbird as above.
Two distant male Reed Buntings in the hedgerow besides the wildbird crop
The friendly ROBIN.....................again!
Siskin, male at feeders
Siskin, Male


Wilma said...

Great series of shots today, Warren. I can't believe you can get sunspots with your camera! Amazing. That has to be what they are. I picked them out before I read the text. I saw them in the first shot and immediately looked in the next one to see if they were there. The birds images are lovely, as always. :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Two species pictured I need there Warren - and that orange thing wouldn't have gone amiss today barely got light!


PS re - sunspots - you cleaned your lens this week ;-)

Warren Baker said...

The sun was so low in the sky I could view it through my Binoculars full on, where the Sunspots were seen even better!

Warren Baker said...

I'm surprised I have encountered a species that you havn't!!

Phil said...

The lake behind us was frozen solid today Warren, I believe Brooklands and Abbey Mead were also mostly ice. If you can find open water, anything could be on it at the moment.

Marc Heath said...

It was bloody cols wasn't it. Hopefully I will be back at Reculver in the morning having done a bit of valley bashing of late. Maybe a Jack Snipe will want its photo taken!

Wilma said...

I just saw this article about those 2 sunspots:

Anonymous said...

Love the Blackbird shots, Warren.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Hand on heart , my first thought re. the spots was the same as Davo's .
Not sure on the health risk of looking at the sun through binoculars .
Given the conditions , the February total is doing well .

Christian said...

Fantastic foraging female backbird shot mate.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely shots of the Blackbird, Warren. I think it's a shame that our more common birds often get overlooked.

I'm still very envious of you having Siskins in the garden, only ever seen them in mine once for about a week three or four years ago.