Tuesday, 16 December 2014


It was great to get out on the patch for a couple of hours on the 13th and 14th of the month. The week before I had a stinking cold so only managed a short walk on the Sunday.
On Saurday the winter thrushes had reached good numbers with about 500 Fieldfares and 200 Redwings present in the orchards by the lake. Its's always great when they arrive in big numbers although they are never easy to approach and seem to spend their time being chased around the orchards by the local Sparrowhawk.
One of the many Fieldfares

The lake was still very quiet except for two Little Grebes amongst the Mallards and Moorhens.The ditch at the southern and held a couple of Reed Buntings  and a Water Rail was calling from the corner of the lake.
The lakeside alders held 10 Siskins and as I watched them I heard the familiar call of a Chiffchaff. Brilliant!!
This is the first December record of this species on the patch and now means I have recorded it in every month of the year.I watched it flitting around before disappearing into the alder wood.
On Sunday my luck continued as I flushed a Jack Snipe(109)from the small ditch at the southern end of the lake whilst I was taking some shots of the hard frost on some nettles.It flew around the orchard a bit and appeared to land further along the main stream into the lake. A great record for the patch and the third in 18 years.
Frosty Nettles
The sunshine meant that at last I could get the camera out and get some frosty shots.
Redwing in the orchard.
These are the winter days I love with hard frosts and beautiful sunshine!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Well November has passed and at last there seems to be an increase in the winter thrush numbers. On the 22nd there were just over 200 Fieldfares in the orchard at the lake which increased to 400 on the 28th.
Fieldfare by the lake.
Redwings seem to be in short supply with the highest number being about 50 on the 28th. 
The lake itself seems to at last be turning up something other than the usual Mallards and Moorhens with a Tufted drake on the 28th and 8(4 pairs) of Wigeon on the 29th which flew off south and a pair on the 30th.
There were a lot of birds in the orchard on the 28th for as well as the winter thrushes there were 100 Starlings,30 Chaffinches and in the alders ,300 Goldfinches plus 10 Siskins.
Pied Wagtail on the roof of Lake Cottage
On the 30th I had one that got away when a large Pipit went over the orchard but I wasn't quick enough to get on it properly and unfortunately it disappeared south east. My gut feeling was a Richards but it didn't call so I'll just have to chalk it up to experience.
This evening I had a drake Gadwall(108)on the lake so I'm hopeful I might reach 110 by the end of the year.