Sunday, 9 February 2014

A strong westerly wind blew again this morning, making for another difficult patch visit, but it did at least stay dry!

I had a good three hours out, finding 42 bird species, which is about what I would expect, nothing new for the February or the year list though. I would expect to be up to the 70 plus mark by late February, but without any sign of a blast from a northerly quarter this winter, it looks like finding species like Snipe, Golden plover, or Brambling will be hard going, Grey Heron and Lapwing are normally easily picked up here in late winter, but have still yet to be recorded.

Back to this morning though, where the best find of the day was no less than 8 GOOSANDER on the main lake, 2 of them stunning males, this is a peak count for Goosander species this winter  :-)  Despite the wind I managed to hear a TREECREEPER singing in the Wet Woods, and a pair of GOLDCRESTS doing likewise in the Scrubby Woods, where COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, and BULLFINCH were seen fleetingly.

SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL were watched hunting over the Ashes Lane Field, while the pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley had 40-50 ROOKS and probably about the same number of JACKDAWS feeding on the sodden grass. Overhead, HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and BLACK HEADED GULL all wheeled about in the gale force wind, and at least 3 MEADOW PIPITS and a pair of SKYLARK flew up and took cover at the Greenhouse Grounds. The LITTLE OWL dozed in its roost tree at the Greenhouse Copse again. On the way home 4 REDWING were seen on the lawn of a large garden off Ashes Lane, the most seen for some time, normally at this time of year I'd expect flocks of them out on the pasture at Migrant Alley, along with Fieldfare, which I saw none of today.

After lunch today, there were some short sunny spells between some short sharp showers, so I took advantage of the light and got some more blog brighteners from my garden feeders. As well as these regulars, I took a few Long Tailed Tit photo's, i'll post them tomorrow, as the weather looks pretty grim for photographs by there's a surprise!
Nuthatch in ''stealth mode''
Coal it
This BLUE TIT has a deformed bill, but seemed to feed ok
Blue Tit with normal bill   :-)


Marianne said...

Not too bad a day then! I think it's forecast to be quite cold next week so maybe some of those elusive winter birds will come your way. Great photos, the Nuthatches are especially stunning.

Marc Heath said...

8 Goosander, that's just greedy, please share with us. Nice Nutty shots.

Alan Pavey said...

Nice Coal Tit pic, and 8 Goosanders is excellent, probably the most anywhere in Kent at the moment, I've not heard about many more.