My third full patch visit of the year brought me great excitement, when the early visit to the lakes provided me with a pair of GADWALL (50), not very exciting you may say! However, for my patch this is a rare species, ( as with most ducks!) The last record of Gadwall here was back in March 2005, and there has only been one other, that was in December 2004, so you can see why I was well pleased with these birds, nice way to bring up the years 50th patch species, it was just a shame the weather was so dull my camera was left at home today, Gadwall is one of the few species I have recorded on my patch but have no photographic record of.
After having my fill of the Gadwall, I was then treated to the years first sighting of the patch MARSH TIT (51) ( there may just be two, not sure yet!) It was seen in a well wooded garden between the Scrubby Woods and Wet woods. New species for the month/year ended there, but among the 41 species recorded today, other highlights were also enjoyed. A large-ish flock of FIELDFARE were on sheep pasture between the Wet Woods and Tree Nursery, along with one or two REDWING and a good number of STARLING, around 250 birds were there all told. KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were up hunting, the latter flushing up 4 MEADOW PIPITS from the Tree Nursery. The LITTLE OWL was seen again, roosting at the Greenhouse Copse, while flyovers from SISKIN, LESSER REDPOLL, HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS were had. Lastly, it was good to encounter at least 8 BULLFINCH, and 10 GOLDCRESTS spread around my patch.
Later this afternoon, the light got marginally better, so I headed off over to try and get a Gadwall photo at the lakes, but although I found them they were on the far side of the lake, snoozing under a tree overhang - maybe they will stay around for tomorrow.
I just had time later for a bit more experimenting with some garden photography, trying to get a nice background again :-) here's the results;
|Note the bill on this BLUE TIT, and compare it with the one below!|
|A bit of a deformed bill :-( It was eating fine though :-)|
|Another COAL TIT|