Monday, 16 February 2015


It was mixed weekend on the bird front.
Saturday saw a flock of 80 or so Skylarks in the field at the top of Kirkins plus a small flock of Linnets and a single Yellowhammer.The lake remains pretty quiet with a Little Grebe,a Great crested Grebe and 10 Mandarins of note.
One of the Buzzards was perched in the usual tree in Shirrenden and a Sparrowhawk was terrorising the Redwings and Fieldfares in the orchard.
I decided on a walk through the alder wood at the southern end and was soon glad I had as a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker(64) called. I eventually caught up with it before it flew off into Shirrenden Wood.
It was brilliant to hear that call again.
Siskins remain difficult with just a single seen.
A Grey Wagtail was seen below the waterfall but that was the best bits of the day until some Lesser Redpolls turned up on the garden feeders.It's always a delight to get these in the garden as they are  few  and far between.
One of the L/Redpolls on the feeder. Not a brilliant shot but I had to take it through the kitchen window.
Sunday didn't chuck up any surprises but the Lesser Spot called from the alder wood and the Little Grebe had been joined by another.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015


My early morning walk on Saturday 7th Feb. started as usual in Kirkins which produced two rather splendid male Bullfinches on the brambles at the top of the field. At the edge of the new houses there were 7 Yellowhammers,2 Meadow Pipits and 11 Skylarks.
As I walked down past the pumping station a Peregrine went over my head going north.
Down at the lake and two Little Grebes were visible at the bottom end plus 3 pairs of Mandarins and the pair of Great crested Grebes had returned.I  heard Canada Geese calling and they soon came into land accompanied by a Greylag Goose(62).
A single Siskin was seen with a flock of Goldfinches.
In the orchard there were 100 Fieldfares and around 35 Redwings.
Around the lake and Great, Blue,Long tailed and Coal Tit were added as well as a single Goldcrest.
Interestingly I also saw another Great black backed Gull going over with some Herring Gulls.

This Redwing was a great visitor to the garden early on Saturday.
Sunday 8th I decided to check the horse paddock behind the pumping station and was delighted to find 18 Yellowhammers and 120 Redwings feeding on the grass amongst the horses. The lake held a welcome addition to the list in the shape of a Cormorant(63) plus a Kingfisher was seen. Up at the field behind the farm house I found 30 Skylarks and 10 Meadow Pipits. It's great to see this number of Skylarks on my patch!
A quick walk around the Shirrenden side produced a pair of Kestrels and a Buzzard.

One of the Kestrels at Shirrenden.
With the days getting a bit longer I hope I can get some birding in after work instead at just the weekends. Still, Spring will soon be upon us, with all the birds I hope it will bring.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

January passed by with the total species on 59.
February started with the small flock of Skylarks still commuting between Kirkins and Hononton Farm. Fourteen were in the flock on Sunday but there have been as many as forty.
The orchard held about three hundred Redwing but only about thirty Fieldfare with them. There was small movement of Herring Gulls and with them a first winter Great Black-backed Gull(60).As I walked down to the lake a Buzzard was calling and it soon appeared over Shirrenden wood.
It was good to add both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. The water was surprisingly empty with just Mallard, Moorhen and the pair of Great Crested Grebes but as I walked back up the lake a Kingfisher flew form a bankside willow.
On Tuesday evening I popped in to the lake on my way home and was delighted to find two pairs of Gadwall(61). Not a common species on the patch and probably only one or two records a year,so I was very pleased.
Redwing in the orchard.
Little Owl at Rectory Park.