Friday, 28 February 2014

I was late out again for the last patch visit of February, due to early rain, but by 08:00hrs it passed through, leaving a dry and sometimes bright morning with little wind.

I headed off over to the lakes first off, fingers crossed that there would be something different on the water, on the way, as I crossed the Ashes Lane Field, I saw a group of 14 MAGPIES and 23 JACKDAWS feeding on the sodden grass there.

I was disappointed when reaching the lakes, no new Duck species had dropped in overnight, and I was left with the regulars of MALLARD, MOORHEN, MUTE SWAN, and COOT, plus the semi regular CANADA GOOSE, GREYLAG GOOSE and feral BARNACLE GOOSE, with the CORMORANT looking on from its tree top perch.

I didn't spend too much time in any of the woods, as it is unlikely i'll find any new species for the year in them, instead preferring to spent most of the morning over at the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley, as something different might fly over or drop into the Greenhouse Grounds. There were 5 LINNET, 8 MEADOW PIPIT, and a PIED WAGTAIL to be found around last years discarded raspberry canes, along with the usual BLACKBIRDS, SONGTHRUSH'S, WRENS, ROBINS, DUNNOCKS, BLUE and GREAT TITS. A GOLDCREST sang from an adjacent garden, plus the LITTLE OWL was in the Greenhouse Copse, but apart from a few CHAFFINCH and GOLDFINCH, that was about it.

In desperation the try and find something new for the February list, I spent nearly 2 hours watching the skies from my seat at Migrant Alley, where flyovers from the likes of KESTREL, BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK, STOCK DOVE, SKYLARK, REDWING and MISTLETHRUSH were all seen, but mostly it was a case of watching the local Corvids and WOODPIGEONS go over, the only Gull seen was a single HERRING GULL.

I conceded defeat in the end, the months list ending up with 64 bird species, that's the fifth best tally from the 13 February's recorded so far. Two more species were added to the year list this month though, those being the Water Rail and the Grey Heron, but apart from finding that Water Rail.its been a bit of a disappointing start to the new year. The year list so far is on 66, which compared to the previous five end of February totals is poor, here's the figures for the end of February for the past five years ;-
2009 - 73
2010 - 69
2011 - 73
2012 - 69
2013 - 75
As you can see there is a big drop in species recorded, the mean average count for those five years is 72, six more than this year ! The missing species are the likes of Snipe, Lapwing, Tawny Owl, Brambling, and Teal, most of which only visit here in colder weather, which has been lacking this winter  :-(

Photo's today are from my garden feeders, where I had another visit from the male LESSER REDPOLL, but the sun had gone when it arrived, typical!  I hope you like SISKINS, 'cos there is a lot of those coming up  :-)
Just enough time to get a couple of images of the Redpoll and it was off again

Siskin, Male
Siskin female


Phil said...

The lack of really cold weather has impacted at NH as well Warren. Siskin, Goldcrest, Woodcock, Goosander, Smew and Goldeneye in particular have not been seen as far as I know.

Warren Baker said...

Surprised at goldcrest not being found Phil