Thursday, 25 February 2016

Another moderate frost covered the area this morning, when it was sunny first thing, but it clouded over by 08:00hrs, giving a couple of snow flurries, later in the morning it brightened again, before once again clouding over for the afternoon.

I spent 3 hours out on my patch, most of that time was spent sky watching from my seat at Migrant Alley, I did however check the lakes for any new visitors first off, but none were found, just the MUTE SWAN pair, the lone COOT, a pair of CANADA GEESE and the MALLARDS and MOORHENS were present again. A look through the Scrubby Wood for a year tick Woodcock also proved fruitless.

The FIELDFARE and REDWING flock continue to use the Ashes Lane Field, along with the STARLINGS, there were around 250 birds in all, mostly Fieldfares. I also saw a pair of BULLFINCHES feeding on the dried Blackberry heads along the drainage ditch there, but the overwintering Meadow Pipits look to have moved on now, I expect a few will pass through during March and April though.

Arriving at Migrant Alley I took up my seat, having noted the KESTREL pair on the Greenhouses as I passed, I then set to work scanning through the 250 or so BLACK HEADED GULLS out on the sheep pasture, where today I found 2 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS among them, they were easier to pick out today, as they are getting there black hoods now. Three COMMON GULLS were also in the flock, but the only HERRING GULLS seen were flyovers.

My 90 minute sky watching session proved worthwhile, as I recorded the months first LITTLE EGRET (64) heading SW,  I also saw a few other species of note going over during my cold vigil -  a couple of SKYLARK, a SISKIN, a GREY WAGTAIL and a YELLOWHAMMER. SPARROWHAWK and 2 BUZZARDS were watched soaring up on the thermals, the latter of which were dueling with a PEREGRINE, four raptor species in one session, excellent !

A spell in the garden, with my camera, later in the morning was enjoyable, I reckon this LESSER REDPOLL is just about in full breeding plumage - absolutely stunning!!

The LONG TAILED TITS are collecting materials for nest building now

COLLARED DOVE surveying its territory from the roof top.


Wilma said...

Terrific garden pics, Warren.

Warren Baker said...

Ta Wilma :-)

Phil Barnett said...

Love that redpoll pic Warren, some males are redder that others - to paraphrase Morrissey

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Phil,
They really are at their best at this time of year :-)