Sunday, 24 February 2013

Another cold morning, with a biting wind again, making it feel even colder. I did get round for a full patch visit today, the last of February, and manged a reasonable species count of 41.

My first port of call was of course the Tree Nursery, I was hoping for another encounter with yesterdays Barn Owl, but despite a 40 minute stake out, which would have been warmer had I waited in my fridge,it never showed, and I reluctantly moved on, more because I was getting chilled than anything else!  Whilst waiting for the Barn Owl, I noted a couple of BULLFINCH, a GOLDCREST, a GREEN WOODPECKER, 4 SONGTHRUSH and 3 GOLDFINCH all in amongst the shrubs, while overhead, a BUZZARD and a SPARROWHAWK were up early.

I quickly got to the Lakes, where 15 CANADA GEESE were the most obvious birds on the water, along with the feral BARNACLE GOOSE, but I quickly found another 3 GOOSANDER, two of them males, the run of good fortune seeing these fantastic birds continues  ;-) The COOT pair and 4 MOORHEN expectantly got on the day list as well, but the 23 BLACK HEADED GULLS that alighted on the water whilst I was there was a big surprise, the first time I have ever seen this species actually on the Lakes!
Male Goosander. I only had the camera on me because of the chance of bumping into the Barn owls. The light was atrocious, and I was trying to focus through a hawthorne bush and a wire fence, not a good combination for nice photographs, but ok for record shots   :-)
Male Goosander
Male Goosander. I got to within 20 meters of the male birds, but the light just didn't improve  :-(
Female Goosander
Female Goosander
A brisk walk over to Migrant Alley, trying to put some warmth back into my feet, soon had me looking at around 75 FIELDFARE on the sheep pasture, with them were a dozen REDWING and 2 MISTLE THRUSH, the KESTREL pair were up on the nearby Greenhouses, and both HERRING GULL and COMMON GULL flew over. Crossing the sheep pasture 70-80 STARLINGS were seen on the adjacent horse paddocks with about 50 ROOKS.

The College Grounds were very average today, and it was notable that not a single bird sang, not even the ever cheerful ROBINS, I noted down the regulars, of which GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, COAL TIT, GREAT TIT, JAY, and HOUSE SPARROW had not yet been added to the day list at that point.

The walk home was cold, and my head was tucked down into my coat for most of it, I did however see two GREYLAG GEESE that flew over, the last species added for the day..........I didn't venture out again!


ShySongbird said...

You really are doing very well with Goosander at the moment Warren. It has been very bleak here too today.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
Goosander are probably the most regular of the scarcer wildfowl species to visit the lakes, some years are better than others for them though ;-)

Stephen Mills said...

Interesting to see you had the Goosander today as there were six redheads on Furnace pond this morning.Don't seemto be able to connect with any males though.
Well done on yesterdays Barn Owl. You're certainly on a roll at the moment!!

Phil said...

How lucky are you Warren. All that water down at New Hythe and all we've had is one Red-head Goosander all Winter!

Alan Pavey said...

Excellent stuff Warren, great photos mate!

Anthony Miners said...

Smart Goosander shots.

Jason K said...

Goosander are great birds to have visit patches like ours Warren. Especially when you consider what small bodoies of water we duck ponds!