Thursday, 2 January 2014

At last a break in the wet and windy weather, giving me a chance to get round for a full patch walk this morning.

I saw fewer species than yesterday, 42 in all, but still manged to add another eight species to the years/months list  :-) The first of these was a PHEASANT (46), seen early on when one flew across Ashes lane, this was immediately followed by 3 LINNET (47) that flew up from the Greenhouse Grounds.

Crossing the Ashes Lane Field a Cormorant was noted flying over, as was the third addition to this years list, when a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL (48) also flew past. A pair of FIELDFARE (49) kept the good run run of year ticks going, they were seen silhouetted against the light at the top of a tree, but it was at this point, whilst peering through my bins without stopping walking, I put my foot in a rabbit hole and went tumbling over, fortunately I had the skill to fall without damaging my bins or Camera, and the ground being softened by the rain prevented any injury to me, although I did get extremely muddy!!

After recovering my composure, I headed off to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, the water was not so busy today, but plenty of MALLARDS were seen, as was the COOT and the MUTE SWAN pair. The Scrubby Woods was reasonably busy with TREECREEPER, LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST and SISKIN being the pick of what was found.
Mute Swan
Next up, I ventured through the very water filled Wet Woods, hoping for a Teal to show up, It didn't, however, I got a better surprise than that, when a WOODCOCK (50) flew up in front of me, always a well exciting bird for my patch, very fitting that it should be the 50th patch species for the year :-)

Back out on the Ashes Lane Field I heard a SKYLARK (51) call as it flew over, and a quick scan of the old shack proved to be worthwhile, as the LITTLE OWL (52) was seen there, it wasn't there earlier!

The last addition to the year list this morning was a YELLOWHAMMER (53), just one alighted on the Poly tunnel framework at the Greenhouse Grounds, where at least 4 MEADOW PIPITS were also to be found. At least 8 SISKIN were feeding in the line of Alders nearby, giving me a chance to photograph them, although they remained just out of reach for the best shots to be obtained  :-(
Siskin, female
Siskin, male ( freshly bathed!)
The sunshine held out for most of the afternoon, so I tried to get some garden bird images at my garden feeders, but the SPARROWHAWK (54) had better ideas, and kept everything but the BLUE and GREAT TITS away, although I did get to add GREENFINCH (55) to the year list, the first one for a while visited very briefly  :-)


Marc Heath said...

The rarest thing you saw today was the sun I think. I'm out tomorrow and no doubt will get wet, seems to be a theme of mine this year so far.

Warren Baker said...

It was well warm out there today, almost springlike :-)

Noushka said...

I know you had very bad weather lately, we are quite fortunate down here!
At least you have Siskins and Greenfinches.... They haven't arrived in the south of France yet! :(
Great pics, Warren and good luck with the storms...
Keep well

Warren Baker said...

Noushka, the weather is always bad here, its just very bad at the moment :-) !!

Glenn Welch said...

Great blog.
Do you often see little owls there? I haven't seen one for years and would love to see one again!

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Warren. At the rate i`m going, it might take me all month to reach 50+ species ;-)

Warren Baker said...

I have two pairs of Little Owls here. They can be seen quite often on a sunny morning, basking in the warmth, just need some sun though!!

Seumus Eaves said...

I wish I could get Bullfinch so early in the year. They are far from annual on my patch, so to nail one now would be a bonus!

Glenn Welch said...

That's nice to know thanks - this is really close to me so may pop over when/if the sun ever comes out! Where is the best place to look for the little owls?