Friday, 28 December 2012

100 up...but

The Safari only saw next door's cat on the trail-cam this morning, maybe the Fox was a pure fluke and they don't visit the garden that often, time will tell although at the moment it's been pointing at the bird feeder high in a tree; Long Tailed Field Mouse in the morning?
After a turkey and chutney butty we headed off to the nature reserve - we're determined to get that 100th species for the year there.
judging by the stiffening breeze we thought the best of the birds would be visible from the 'West Planting' hide and as we unloaded Frank we could hear Whooper Swans not too far away....from the hide we could see they were further than we thought right over the far side and being chased by the some of the local Mute Swans.
The majority of the birds were tucked out of the wind too far in to the edge of the reeds to be seen properly and those that were in view were mostly asleep.

A 2nd winter male and a female Goldeneye were amongst the throng, like Pochard somewhat scarcer than in 'normal' years, must still be mild on the continent.
Although there may have been some Mute Swans  out of sight to our right we still counted 23.
Conditions for pics were poor on the gloomiest of afternoons.

About 70 Lapwings flew round from time to time and (legal?) shooting in the SE fields brought 108 Canada Geese to the sanctuary of the water along with a dubious hybrid thingy. Seven Grey Lags Geese were already present.
Not coming to the reserve but also disturbed by the gunshots was a flock of around 250 Jackdaws.
A good many scans through the gulls gave us nothing mega but there were a good number of Common Gulls.

This Great Black Backed Gull was indulging in thuggery flying round and terrorising the others. 

A couple of Herring Gulls had already moulted their winter plumage and were looking rather dapper when sat next to their less advanced friends.

Here's just a few of the 1000 or so Teal, all horizontal stripers...again!
And here's a view looking down the mere from the 'form' - how many species of waterfowl can you see? Number 100 isn't in there, it was unphotographable on the nearby reed edge; a White Cheeked (= Bahama) Pintail...uncountable so we're still 'stuck'  on 99!
Shortly after that pic was taken a flock of about 100 Woodpigeons flew over us heading SW into town Moving round to the Feeding Station it was almost dark mid-afternoon. A Coal Tit was pick of the small stuff but more interesting was a female reed Bunting clinging to the fat-ball feeeder - never seen that before, tried to get a pic but we missed it, wonder how long they've been doing that.

Plenty of Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches and Dunnocks but not much else until this Great Spotted Woodpecker came in and fortunately fed from the nearer of the two peanut feeders.

 As ever the 'lead refugees' were on hand to mop up any spillages
Behind the hide is a small patch of woodland and appearing through the leaf litter were several shoots of Bluebells, think these are the invasive Spanish Bluebells (or possibly hybrids).

Not a bad couple of hours and it didn't rain!
Where to next? back again tomorrow to try for that all important 100th species perhaps - could be a bit weather dependent.
In the meantime let us know who;s looking dapper in your outback.


Anonymous said...

Good luck on cracking the ton up Dave.

cliff said...

Nice Woodpecker photos Dave, especially considering the light(or lack of), everytime I've gone out in the garden over the Xmas break my outdoor security light has come on 'cos it thinks it's still night time :-(

Re. your fat ball feeding Reed Bunting, we had a male in the garden back in Feb that I photo'd on our fat ball feeder, which came as a surprise to me too.

Stuart Price said...

Hope you get the 100...............