Thursday, 3 December 2015

Dull and dreary here again, but the wind was slightly less and it remains warm for the time of year.

I carried out a full patch walk this morning, during which, I recorded 48 bird species, an excellent tally for December, especially as I missed Redwing, Treecreeper and Coal Tit, I'm sure they were all out there somewhere!

Five new species were found for the December list, with both LINNET (50) and REED BUNTING (51) being seen, both scarce species for December, the latter especially so, they were with the GOLDFINCHES, GREENFINCHES, CHAFFINCHES, LESSER REDPOLLS and SISKINS at the Greenhouse Grounds, where the CHIFFCHAFF was seen again, plus 5 YELLOWHAMMERS of note. Alas, I failed to find the Brambling there today, but there were a lot of birds about, so it could have been missed if it was there!

I watched the female KESTREL hunting at the front of the Greenhouse Grounds, then, as usual, I checked the small butile lined reservoir for the GREY WAGTAIL, which was indeed resident there, more of a surprise though was a lone LAPWING (52) !

The fourth new species for the month was GREYLAG GOOSE (53) two of which flew over the Ashes Lane Fields whilst I was trying to ascertain the number of MEADOW PIPITS present there - probably 6 were  :-)

The COOT remains at the lakes, as does the KINGFISHER, nothing else of note was there though. The Scrubby Woods, Wet Woods and Small Holding Area were given a good look through, where the best of the species found were :-


A check of 'Bustard Hill', for the first SKYLARK (54) of the month proved successful, but just one was heard calling.

A species rich visit today then, and a very enjoyable one, despite having to witness a class of primary school kids ''tidying'' the Greenhouse Copse, there goes the field layer and dead wood  :-(

Back home, my garden feeders were brimming with birds, I tallied up 21 species in all, which in part was due to the Sparrowhawk not visiting at all this afternoon. The best of the species were at least 10 Lesser Redpoll, a Songthrush, 2 COAL TITS, a WREN, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a flock of at least 6 Long Tailed Tits, 2 JACKDAWS ( not a common visitor ) and best of all a male BLACKCAP (55) to add to the December patch list, the only downside was not a single House Sparrow visited  :-(

No photo's today, nothing left in the 'blog folder'  :-(


Derek Faulkner said...

I'm all for school kids being taken out into the countryside and getting a feel for how it is, they won't learn about it from computers or watching the useless Countryfile.
OK so a bit of tidying up took place but your monthly bird records are usually fairly consistent with previous years, I believe last month's was fairly high up the November lists, so the habitat can't be that badly affected and some tidying up can actually be beneficial in the long run by encouraging healthy re-growth.
The next generation of naturalists are in short supply these days, encourage them.

Warren Baker said...

I agree, if it were like you suppose it to be....but its not!

All that's happening here, is the kids get out into the countryside so the school can tick the box that says the kids did some environmental work.

I have seen them out in the woods in late April, lopping, sawing and slashing!

Another little venture for them was to remove the rabbit collars around the hedgerow saplings, some were removed, but not all, interest was lost, the ones that did get removed are still in a pile of rubbish bags at the end of the hedgerow some 18 months later!

All for youngsters to sample the countryside, but this isn't the way ;-(

Derek Faulkner said...

OK, you're there, I'm not and clearly April is not the time to be lopping, sawing, and slashing. Perhaps you could offer your expert knowledge of the area to the teachers and at the same time suggest a better timetable, even offer to guide them round the that way you at least get them going in the direction and doing the things, that you would want them to.
As much as I prefer my solitude on the reserve, I'll always offer my knowledge of it to visitors and will even take them across parts that aren't open to the public.

Warren Baker said...

I do a fair bit of moaning, and sometimes fail to fully explain my gripes, but they are on the whole justified :-)

As for helping out, I am already involved in helping out one of the lecturers at Hadlow College, my survey techniques and long term data are useful for the classes.

Derek Faulkner said...


I get your drift and yes, sometimes your postings do contradict themselves when on the one hand you're complaining about habitat destruction and loss and on the other talking about great bird counts.
As for your second comment, well, brilliant.


Pete Woodruff said...

The new header image....I'm impressed Warren.

Can't talk about the continuing crap weather - been under house arrest again today - drizzle, and can't see down the road at times. But hopefully out tomorrow for the first time in a week, any chance of you crossing your fingers please!

Warren Baker said...

Glad you like the new header Pete, I love it!!

Hope you got out today!

Guillermo García-Saúco Sánchez said...

Fantastic photos, I love that Lesser Redpoll. If I had one of those in my garden in Spain I would die of happiness.
Great blog.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for visiting Guillermo, maybe one day you'll have a Redpoll visit :-)