Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A day of huge contrast today, this morning I walked to work in freezing conditions with a gale force wind blowing heavy snow around, whilst this afternoon a rapid thaw set in and some warm sunshine was had, however the strong cold NE wind still blew!

The snow was thawing nicely as I set off for the Lakes this afternoon, but there were still a few knee high drifts to negotiate, and of course the worsening muddy footpaths. I passed through the Tree Nursery and found a few BLACKBIRDS, and SONGTHRUSH with 3 REDWINGS, plus the regular GREEN WOODPECKERS. The adjacent sheep pasture was now home to the new generation of sheep, they will munch their way through the surrounding Butterfly and bird nesting habitat around the field edges  :-(  A KESTREL sat on the old shack that is in the same field, and as I tried to approach it for a photo, a LITTLE OWL flew out and alighted in an adjacent Garden, the Kestrel also flew off, alighting onto the lonesome pine tree, where I got a distant shot of it.
Kestrel, this bird was lit from all angles by the sun and the reflective snow, making for an interesting portrait
I checked the Pub Field, which was snowy but empty, before moving on to the Lakes. On arriving there, only a pair of MALLARD and 3 CANADA GEESE were found with the ever present MOORHENS, there was no sign of the Coot pair, but they could just be tucked up out of view somewhere, lets hope so.

A COAL TIT sang from the nearby Scrubby Woods, where at least 3 BULLFINCH were seen and heard calling, and a GOLDCREST pair chased around a large fir tree there. On the way back home I stopped off in the Wet Woods, where a TREECREEPER was heard to call as well as a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER but little else of note. I recrossed the sheep pasture and saw a MISTLETHRUSH pair feeding around the lambs, while overhead a few HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS went over. I got home in time for some garden photo's to be taken before my evening chores had to be carried out, there was no complaining about the light levels today, in fact with the reflective snow and bright sunshine it was neccassary to try and lose some of it!

Talking of the garden birds, I had a new tick for my little plot when early this morning a ROOK came in to try its luck for some garden grub, that's the 55th species to use my garden in the 12 years i've lived here  :-)

Hopefully this week we'll see the last of the wintry weather, and i'll start to see some spring birds arriving, looks like it's going to be a late spring again  :-(

Here's a couple of images from the garden taken this afternoon -:
Blackbird
NUTHATCH

6 comments:

ShySongbird said...

How's this for a prompt comment :-) Great photos again Warren. The Kestrel is an unusual and interesting shot.

Sounds like you had much more snow than the dusting we had. Bitterly cold all day though. Still very envious about the Nuthatch :-)

Warren Baker said...

Very prompt indeed Songbird! :-)

Wish spring was half as prompt!!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Like the Kestrel and Nuthatch shots .
That wind seems to have finally eased , let's hope that's the end of it .
Re. migrants , it's amazing what has been seen already , Sand Martins , Wheatear , Cuckoo and Osprey to mention a few .

Warren Baker said...

Greenie,
Those early Migrants must be wondering why they bothered.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes....the Kestrel image is excellent Warren.

Bitterly cold wind here today, but out of the wind and into the wall to wall sun it was remarkably warm.

Kieron Palmer said...

Rook eh? V nice. We had a Stock Dove today :-)