|Sunrise this morning|
A tally of 45 species was a little above what I would expect on a December visit, and it was pleasing to add 3 new species to the months list, the first being a fantastic male PEREGRINE (51) that flew low over Ashes lane early on.
|Another sunrise image :-)|
Whilst in the Scrubby Woods, noting down all the regulars like BULLFINCH, TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH and GOLDCREST, I heard, then picked out, a YELLOWHAMMER (52) as it flew over, the first here since October, Yellowhammers are getting so scarce here now, to think they used to occur in flocks!
I've picked out a few yellowhammer stats that show the alarming decline of this species :-
In 2002 I recorded Yellowhammer on 87% of my full patch walks, with first 5 years of recording on my patch giving me an average sighting of 71% per full patch walk.
The second 5 years of recording gave me an average sighting of 61% of full patch walks, while the the last two years of recording, the sightings have dropped to just 26%, this year Yellowhammer has been sighted on just 19% of full patch walks. The last flock of Yellowhammers that had more than 8 birds in it was seen in 2004.
Back to todays visit, and the better day continued as I walked the fields and Greenhouse grounds, with the likes of SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, and LITTLE OWL being found, a flock of LONG TAILED TITS were followed along a battered hedgerow, giving me a photo opportunity, and a pair MEADOW PIPITS flew up and over the Greenhouses, it was as I watched them that the third addition to the months list was found - a GREY HERON (53) . Asecond Little owl was seen in the Greenhouse Copse, this one was more obliging than the one at the old shack in the Ashes lane Field!
|Little Owl sunning itself on the edge of the Greenhouse copse|
|The Owls perch shows the mess of the treeline, due to the hedge flailers|
|Long Tailed tit|
|Distant Mallards leaving the lake before I got there!|