The Safari added another year bird from Patch 2 yesterday, a Razorbill (98, P2 #22), a Great Crested Grebe was #21 for the Patch 2 list too; getting interestingly close to the 100 in January mark now and there's still a week to go - will we or won't we?
Early this morning we did our RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, it was disappointing after recent years due to the abominable amount of habitat destruction locally this year.
A pair of Magpies were already making serious inroads into the sunny seeds and mealworms we'd put down last night. To get gulls on the score sheet we throw a few slices of bread on the garage roof just before the off and dash back in to our watch point, if we're not quick enough they can get the bread before we can count them. First one in was a Black Headed Gull (Garden #11). Nothing much happened until almost half time when a male Chaffinch (Garden #12) we weren't expecting dropped in.
One of the Magpies was now in last year's nest fettling up something in the inner sanctum.
A lone female Greenfinch arrived and landed on the feeder, it was extremely wary staying motionless for well over five minutes before starting to feed. They need their friends to keep a watch, this one was seriously unhappy without the rest of its flock.
In the end we had just 21 birds of 10 species, a third of the total were the gulls and gone by the end of the 30th second on the hour's watch.
This afternoon we were able to get out to the nature reserve for yet another look for the Firecrest, not far along the walk in there was a cracking male Stonechat (MMLNR #56) perched up on the red tops half way across the wetland.
Just before we got to the gate there was a lovely female Kestrel soaring around over the scrub.
Walking down to the Firecrest zone we met some birders coming out with negative news - OK so we won't have to wait too long this time we hoped.
A Cetti's Warbler fired up close by but even the Robins were absent at first. A movement in the reeds turned out to be the Dunnock but we did see a brief flit of a Cetti's Warbler which the other couple with us sadly missed as they'd not seen before.
The Willow catkins are not far off opening and then it won't be long before the first queen bumble bees are out of hibernation and looking for flowers to get their reserves back up.
|Beneath the trees the Snowdrops are beginning to show, spring is deffo on the way now but there'll be a few more chilly days before its here for keeps.|
Still no Firecrest for us though and not even any Goldcrests today.
The walk back to the Land Rover with our new friends there were some House Sparrows (MMLNR #57) chirruping away from the depths of the roadside Privet hedge.
Where to next? Not sure where we'll end up after the pond jaunt, possibly a skua might be involved.
In the meantime let us know what's keeping you guessing in your outback.