Sunday, 24 January 2016

Saturday was a bit of a non-entity as after walking for half an hour heavy mist descended. However a couple of Buzzards were seen and a flock of  Siskins were in the alders.I was unable to make out birds on the lake but returned to find two Little Grebes(64) in the far margin. I took a record shot in the grey conditions:-
Two Little Grebes
Today wasn't much better but it was good to find a flock of Redwings plus 3 Yellowhammers in the horse paddock.The alder wood at the north of the paddock held three species of woodpecker.Both Great -spotted and Lesser-Spotted(65) were drumming and I eventually caught sight of the Lesser-spot as it flitted from one drumming post to another.
I'm always made up when the Lesser spots appear on the patch.
The lake still held the Little Grebes and two Coots but not a lot else.So the struggle for species continues. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

On the 3rd of the month there were good numbers of birds in the orchardswith some 1000+ Redwings and 600+ Fieldfaresplus 20 Meadow Pipits and a similar number of Chaffinch.
A Marsh Tit (55)was seen behind Lake Cottage and 6 Mandarins (56) were on the lake. Four species of gull flew over:- Common, Black-headed,Herring and Lesser Black-backed (57) were noted.
On the 8th a Water Rail(58) was heard then glimpsed at the southern end and amazingly another Raven (59) went over north west the following day.
On the 10th a Grey Heron(60) flew over the house and dropped into gardens opposite and down at the lake I foound one of the previous years Reed Warblers nest in the reeds.
old Reed Warblers nest

On the way home from work on the13th my first Common Buzzard (61).
Saturday 16th started really well with a juvenile Peregrine (62) carrying prey which flew over me in Kirkins.
The following morning I was greeted by a dusting of snow and two Skylarks (63) were in field in Kirkins.
Early snow in Kirkins on the 17th.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

December 2015 passed with no new species for the year list but did turn up my first winter Blackcap and second December Chiffchaff so the list finished on 104(the lowest I can remember).
Looking back on the year and the highlite was probably the Osprey which stayed around for three days in September
juvenile Osprey in Shirrenden.
Sadly, Goosander and Pochard were both missing and Barn Owl seems to have disappeared.The month ended on a a pleasing note when ,on 29th,Egytian Goose,Brambling and the second Raven of the year were seen with a Marsh Tit seen the next day,
Marsh Tit

2016 started at 06:45 when I ventured out into the garden to hear a Tawny Owl calling.After breakfast I left for my walk adding House Sparrow,Robin,Starling Fieldfare,Carrion Crow,Chaffinch  and Robin before I left the garden.As I walked through the village I added Magpie,Collared Dove, Blue Tit,Redwing and Wood Pigeon.
Down through Kirkins and Dunnock and Great Spotted woodpecker were seen plus a flyover Yellowhammer.A Pheasant called from the wood at the bottom where a Song Thrush was singing.
Into the horse paddock where a Grey wagtail then Stock Dove went over followed by a Brambling calling loudly as it flew north.At the bottom of the field a Wren called in alarm as I stepped into Furnace Lane.
I added Green Woodpecker and Siskin as I walked onto Hononten Farm.Along the track I saw Black headed Gull,Canada Goose,Jay,Goldfinch,Meadow Pipit and Herring Gull.
Down at the lake Mallard,Moorhen,Kingfisher,Great crested Grebe,Coot and a female Teal were on the water.Both Common Gull and Cormorant flew over as did a Lesser Redpoll and a Linnet.
Around at Shirrenden Bullfinch, Mistle Thrush,Coal Tit,Nuthatch,Jackdaw,Long tailed Tit,Goldcrest and finally Tree Creeper were added.
On the walk back up Furnace lane a Sparrowhawk was seen bringing the total to 51.A terrific three hours birding.
In the garden and Greenfinches were on the feeders.During the afternoon,on a walk with my wife,Kestrel and Rook were seen bringing the days total to 54,