Tuesday, 28 February 2017

This morning I made the final patch visit of the month, hoping to add to the measly 55 bird species that have occurred so far this February, but despite a good 3 hours out, nothing new was added.

February 2017 will go down as the second worst species tally of the 16 recorded, it being 3 better than the lowest tally achieved back in 2003 - but then I was working and visits were fewer and shorter. My patch year list is also suffering, at 63 species it is 5 behind this date last year.

Species that did not show this month, but could have been expected, include - Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Lesser Redpoll, Coot, Reed Bunting, Peregrine Falcon ( which are still at the village tower, just off my patch), as well as Brambling, Snipe, Mandarin Duck or any other of the common Duck species! Numerous flyover species were missing too, such as Little Egret, Great Black Backed Gull and Mute Swan.

Not too much of note was seen during this mornings visit, the best of what turned out were the KESTREL pair, seen at the Greenhouse Grounds, a BUZZARD which flew from the Greenhouse Copse, a GREY WAGTAIL that flew out of the now very Wet Woods, plus the 3 Gull species on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, those being HERRING GULL, BLACK HEADED GULL and COMMON GULL, no sign of a Mediterranean Gull - another species which has occurred in the past two Februaries.

A TREECREEPER sang from an old Oak tree along High House Lane, where SKYLARK and MEADOW PIPITS were also heard over the adjacent pasture at Bustard Hill.


Derek Faulkner said...

We're having a similar poor species count on the reserve this winter, it's just one of those years. Wildfowl numbers are the lowest for years - very little rain and so no flooded areas. Few Linnets, few Goldfinches, few Greenfinches, few thrushes now they've stripped the bushes and too many bloody crows, although we start trapping them this week so that and the neighbouring farmer shooting them, should reduce that problem before the breeding season.

Marc Heath said...

Not a great month was it for birds really? Your stats proving this on your patch. Hopefully better times are just around the corner.

Warren Baker said...

That the good thing about long term stats - they dont lie!

Warren Baker said...

Good bit of science that Derek.......shoot anything suspected of being responsible for the declining bird species, then we can spend lots of time and money protecting those same persecuted suspects from becoming extinct.........dumb shooting fanatics, should move to the USA.

Derek Faulkner said...

Basic habitat management Warren where corvids are concerned and I never used the words "shoot anything".

Jason K said...

Lets hope it's a good Spring Warren. Not long now till the first Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins!