Thursday, 21 February 2013

Off work for the rest of the week now, so i took the opportunity of making a full patch walk this morning, boy was it cold though! A biting easterly wind and a frost under an overcast sky made for tough going first thing.

There wasn't too many birds about, understandable in the cold conditions, but a good variance of species were found, 44 in all, with some good patch birds among those. Raptors were about again, with the usual patch pair of KESTRELS up hunting, as well as a BUZZARD over the Wet Woods, where I was shown a flyover SPARROWHAWK by the 2 TREECREEPERS with flock of 8 GOLDCREST I was watching, They saw it well before I did, despite the hawk being at least 50 foot above the tree canopy, their alarm call alerted me, they must have some eye sight!

A WOODCOCK was flushed in the Scrubby Woods, but the adjacent lakes didn't oblige with any new ducks today, there were however 16 CANADA GEESE and 6 MOORHEN with the COOT pair, plus a CORMORANT in one of the bank side tree tops, the only MALLARDS seen today was a pair in the Wet Woods.

The sheep pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley had 2 MISTLETHRUSH, about 120 FIELDFARE, plus a single REDWING, overhead, HERRING GULL, BLACK HEADED GULL and COMMON GULL were all seen passing by. I had a good look around the College Grounds and gardens, where the undoubted highlight was seeing a pair of GADWALL on one of the tiny ponds! I have never in the twelve years of watching this area seen anything but the odd pair of Mallard and a few Moorhens on these ornamental features! Also of note in the gardens were a couple more Redwing.

I walked back out across Migrant Alley, heading for the Greenhouse Grounds, and was well happy when I saw 24 LAPWING (67) flap their way slowly over - another one for the February list, just 2 more species and a new February record will be set! When I got to the Greenhouse Grounds it felt absolutely freezing with the wind coming straight of the sheep pasture, but I stuck it out and found a couple of BULLFINCH, 6 SISKIN and a PIED WAGTAIL to end the days list.

Later this afternoon, it brightened up slightly, and I spent some more time in the garden photographic studio (shed!) My dear friend and fellow blogger 'Songbird' asked me a while back,  ''could I get a photo of a Siskin on the blog log''  well I have finally succeeded in tempting them down onto it Songbird  :-)  Here's a few images, I hope you enjoy them, as I froze my toes off getting these :-)
Siskin (Male)
These two also sneaked in on the act  :-)
Sneaky NUTHATCH :-)


Grant Demar said...

Nice Siskins Warren, it shows perseverance pays. hope the frostbite is cured by tomorrow??

Warren Baker said...

Hello Grant mate :-)

Waxwings back outside the Church at Salisbury road where they were the other year, fancy a photographic trip ?

Marc Heath said...

Well done mate, some beauties there. Super birds.

Stephen Mills said...

Some great shots of the male Siskin. Well done!!

ShySongbird said...

Thank you Warren :-) :-) You've really brightened a very cold and miserable day. The Siskins are absolutely beautiful, I just knew they would look good on the blog log. The interlopers are gorgeous too! I hope your toes have re-attached themselves and thawed out by now :-)

Well done too on the Gadwalls on the ornamental pond!

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes, love the Siskin images very much Warren.

Mike H said...

Some lovely Siskins shots Warren . Had a couple in my garden today the first for two years.

Joe said...

It really was cold this morning, well done for finding the motivation to have a walk! Some interesting species around too by the sounds of it.

And those Siskin shots are great, they're such striking little birds as you've shown in those photos. And nice photo of the Nuthatch aswell, they're fantastic little characters too.

Christian said...

Superb Siskins mate. Lovely birds.