|Spring is nigh!|
|I took these photo's of the first crocus of spring in my garden, using my new extension tube + a 300mm lens. I've got to learn how to use it properly before the Butterflies emerge! More light needed I think :-)|
I found it quite hard going for the majority of the walk, not a great deal was to be found, and not a sniff of the Skylark and Yellowhammer that I had hoped to add to the February list :-(
A few species were brightening the morning with a bit of song as I left the house, SONGTHRUSH, WOODPIGEON, CHAFFINCH, WREN, DUNNOCK, GREENFINCH and ROBIN were all heard in a short space of time. Two each of LESSER REDPOLL and SISKIN were in the Alders at the Greenhouse Grounds, and a LITTLE OWL called from the Copse there, both KESTRELS were perched up on the Greenhouse roofs and a big female SPARROWHAWK flew over low and slow.
25 FIELDFARE and 2 REDWINGS were seen at Migrant Alley as I walked over to the College Grounds, where not much was happening really, a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, a GOLDCREST a PIED WAGTAIL and a flyover LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL were the most notable sightings
I made my way over to the Wet woods and lake area next, passing once again through the Greenhouse Grounds, where a pair of BULLFINCH were seen briefly, but a sighting of 6 GREENFINCH was also of interest, a peak count for the year!
On the water over at the Lake area, 4 CANADA GEESE, 6 MALLARD, 2 MOORHENS and the COOT pair were found, a COAL TIT sang from the Scrubby Woods and a NUTHATCH called from the same place, it was then the day turned from the standard visit to a special visit, when the trilling of WAXWINGS (71,59) was heard, I could hear them high in a tree, but I was in cover at the lakeside edge, as I tried to get out in the open I heard the trilling passing over, and the only view I got was a silhouette of two birds flying away over the lakes, none the less, they are a great patch sighting :-)
With my morning made, I headed home via the Wet Woods and Small Holding, the former habitat adding just GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER to the days list, whilst the latter habitat added a GREEN WOODPECKER, another Little Owl called from there too. Forty three species for the morning was about average for February.
Once home, I had a short break, after which I decided to take some seed down to the hedgerow that divides the Greenhouse Complex with Migrant Alley. Having spread the seed, which I hope will attract a Yellowhammer eventually, I scanned the paddocks at Migrant Alley, 25 BLACK HEADED GULLS were seen, plus a COMMON GULL, but great excitement was had for the second time this morning when I picked out a MEDITERRANEAN GULL (72,60) too! Fantastic! Only the second record of this species on my patch, the last was back in 2009, when two were around between May and June.
Later this afternoon I tried for some Siskin photo's from my garden, I got some images but the birds only showed well on the feeders. Whilst waiting for the Siskin to show a male BLACKCAP (73,61) was seen briefly, three year ticks for the day! The Blackcap brings the garden species list for February to 26, the same total as February 2009, 20011 and 2012, which is the highest achieved, if a House Sparrow turns up this month it will set the February record :-)
|Long Tailed Tit|
|This photo almost came off, had I used a shallower depth of field, and the bird on the right had kept its head still :-)|