Sunday, 29 March 2015

Once again the month has whizzed by and the list has crept along.
The 12th saw me adding Red Legged Partridge(66) at six o'clock in the morning as one was on the road outside our house as I pulled off the drive.
The following day I had the first Chiffchaff(67) of the year as one was calling at the southern end of the lake.
First Chiffchaff of the year.
On the 15th a walk at the lake produced one of the Lesser Spots,30 Goldfinchesand 2 Lesser Redpolls and the orchard  held around 70 Fieldfares and 120 Redwings. The walk back up the hill proved very eventful when a Little Egret(68) flew over me heading ENE over the village. This is a great tick for me as it is only the fourth record in nineteen years.
On the 23rd I added a Coot(69) on my way to work and also saw a summer plumaged Little Grebe on the lake.
Popping in on my way home I saw a large raptor coming towards me from the north which I thoght was going to be one of the local buzzards but as it got nearer I could see it was a female Marsh Harrier(70)Brilliant!! The Coot had been joined by another and the Great crested Grebes had one egg on the nest.
The walk on Saturday started in orchard behind Tucks. On entering it I heard the song of the first Blackcap(71) of the spring.I wondered if it was a migrant or a bird which may have overwintered. The Chiffchaff s had increased to a total of six singing birds around the patch.
This morning was a bit of a non entity but the Grebes showed me that they had three eggs. Unfortunately I popped down to the lake this afternoon and the the nest had been destroyed by the strong winds. A sad end but there will be plenty of time to rebuild and raise a family.
This evening at seven o'clock there was a movement of gulls over the house with 13 Lesser black Backed and 23 Herring Gulls heading south.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Week Ending 08/03/15

Saturday began with me making my way down to Kirkins. The back garden yielding Goldfinch,House Sparrow,Collared Dove and Blackbird as I made my way out.
Song Thrushes were in full song as were the local Robins.
The top of Kirkins saw me adding Wood pigeon,Blue tit and a pair of flyover jackdaws.On the field were a few Starlings and three magpies.Two Greenfinches went over in their song flight and Dunnocks were chasing about the brambles.
Behind Tucks Villas I added Jay,Mistle thrush, Bullfinch, Great tit and a single Linnet and Stock Dove.
Into Furnace Lane and a Wren called from the hedgerow.
At the pumping station I found 4 Yellowhammers feeding in the horse paddock with a good number of Fieldfares and Redwings.
At Hononton farm I had 3 Herring Gulls over and a single Common Gull.
The ditch at the southern end of the lake held a singing Reed Bunting.
Male Reed Bunting in full song
I decided to check the cleared field behind the farm house and added Skylark and Meadow Pipit.
The lake held very little save for the usual Great-crested grebes, Mallards, Moorhens, Mandarin and Black headed Gull.
On the Sirrenden side I had all three woodpeckers plus Long tailed tit,Coal tit,Goldcrest , Treecreeper and Nuthatch. On the raptor front I had Kestrel and Buzzard.
Walking back towards Furnace Lane and the pair of Grey Wagtails were below the waterfall.
As I got back to the house two Rooks went over as did a Pied Wagtail.
In total I saw 48 species which I think is a fantastic tally for the day.
On Sunday I added Kingfisher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pheasant and Sparrowhawk and amazingly I had a Tawny Owl calling at 9 o'clock in the morning!!
In the garden at 11.50 a.m five Buzzards were circling over the house.It's extraordinary how they have multiplied in the last few years.
Male House Sparrow in the garden
So,53 species were seen at the weekend.Brilliant!!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A quick walk on 21st February produced 7 Tufted Drakes(65) on the lake in the afternoon and a Brambling on the dam end in the morning.
Rather unapproachable Tufted Drakes

The patch walk on the last day of February was a damp one with a mixture of rain and sleet on a chilly wind.
It's still very quiet on the lake with the usual Great Crested Grebes, Mallards, Mandarins and Moorhens on the water and a couple of Canada Geese over.
A walk through the alder wood at the southern end was a bit more productive with a nice flock of Goldfinches plus 5 Lesser Redpolls and a single Siskin( Where have all the Siskins gone?).
I also found a mixed flock which contained Blue Tit, Great Tit,Treecreeper,Long tailed Tit,and Goldcrest.
Somewhere in the wood a Lesser Spot called and I flushed a Woodcock as I struggled through.
The finch flock was spooked by a Sparrowhawk as it shot through the trees.
The orchard contained a few Redwings and Fieldfares and small flock of Chaffinches.
On the Shirrenden side one of the local Buzzards was sitting in it's usual spot.
On the first of March a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker called and was seen at the southern end.
On the walk back up the hill two Bullfinches were in the hedgerow eating buds.
Male Bullfinch in the hedgerow.