Thursday, 29 January 2015

The threatened rain, sleet and snow showers never materialised this morning, instead there was a slight frost and some lovely warm (ish) sunshine, with a cooling, moderate westerly breeze.

With the conditions ideal, I set of for the last full patch walk of the month, taking a little over 5 hours to complete and finding a very good tally of 49 species, only Pheasant, Pied wagtail, and maybe Buzzard could have been expected to be added for the day list, but weren't.

I still didn't add anything to the month/year list though, but the lakes were unusually active, with 6 GOOSANDER (2 Males), being a pleasing find, also a pair of MUTE SWAN had turned up, maybe the ones that bred here last year ? A Pair of GREYLAG GEESE and a single CANADA GOOSE with the white ''farmyard goose'' were also present, as were the COOT, 6 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHEN.

White 'farmyard goose'

In the adjacent Scrubby Woods the sunshine streamed through the bare branches, enabling me to easily find the likes of TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, and BULLFINCH, however it all went very quiet when a apir of SPARROWHAWKS started displying low overhead!

In the Wet Woods more Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Long Tailed Tits were seen, along with JAY, STOCK DOVE, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKER, plus I snapped an albino Squirrel, but the sunlight hadn't reached this part of the wood unforunately, making for a soft image.

One of the two albino Squirrels that live in the Wet Woods

More highlights from the visit were :- 40+ REDWING that were in the Ashes Lane Fields, feeding with a lone FIELDFARE, the MISTLETHRUSH pair and a few STARLING, also, further along on the fields at least 30 MEADOW PIPITS continue to overwinter.

The GREY WAGTAIL was at the Greenhouse Grounds water intake area, and the male KESTREL was seen, fewer BLACKBIRDS, SONGTHRUSHES, WRENS, ROBINS and DUNNOCKS were using the grounds, but there was a work crew present there today.

 Grey Wagtail at the water intake

The Little Owl wasn't at home in the Greenhouse Copse today, but as I crossed the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, I had SKYLARK and 3 CORMORANT fly over as I was checking through the BLACK HEADED GULL flock, which only produced a COMMON GULL with them.

The trilling calls of 5 YELLOWHAMMER were picked up as I walked along High House Lane and they were seen high up in the top of an Oak tree there. The last species on the list today was the HOUSE SPARROW, the usual 10-20 birds were found along Ashes Lane as I neared home.

I was hoping after finding the Mute Swans, White farmyard Goose, and albino Squirrel, that I could add to the white theme this morning by seeing a nice Little Egret flying over at some point, but only this big white thing flew low over!


Phil said...

I found an albino squirrel in West Farleigh last year Warren. It seemed much more timid than than the usual greys.

Pete Woodruff said...

A first for me the 'white' Squirrel, and your last words to accompany the 'is it a bird' shot is quite original Warren....the pilot appears to be asleep!!

Warren Baker said...

I bet it wasn't so noisy in his comfortable seat!

Warren Baker said...

Phil, There are two in the woods here, but they are very wary, the local dogs keep them on their toes :-(

Dean Stables said...

I`m another one that`s never seen a white Squirrel. Nice one, Warrne.