Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The middle weekend of March was spent up in Norfolk visiting my younger brother and some of the north coast.
Saturday 12th I visited Cley.A fantastic reserve and whilst there wasn't anything rare about I watched the sea for a while and found a Black -Throated Diver amongst the many Red -Throats and had a single Eider.I also had my first Chiffchaff of the spring (still none on the patch).
I took the opportunity to go to Blakeney to see some Lapland Buntings and try to get some shots of them.
Lapland Buntings

Back to the patch and not a lot has changed but Fieldfares and Redwings remain in decent numbers. On 19th two Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers were displaying in the alderwood at the southern end and the feeder was still attracting several Tit species including the Marsh Tits.
The lake was quiet as usual with 6 Mandarins and a Cormorant being the highlite.
In the afternoon we had a walk and had a flock of about 130 Redpolls fly over us at Bassetts farm, definately the largest flock i've ever seen!
On 20th there was the welcome sight of a Reed Bunting singing in the ditch at the bottom of the lake and 2 Kingfishers were present with 2 Grey Wagtails on the stream.
At lunch time I picked up a large raptor going over the house which turned out to be my first Red Kite(68) of the year and later in the afternoon we were treated to 6 Buzzards circling over the village.
On the morning of the 21st I popped in to the lake on my way to work to find two Reed Buntings singing and on the way home a drake Teal was on the lake plus a Grey Heron.
On the loop round past the sheep pasture I found a cracking male White Wagtail(69) in amongst the sheep but unfortunately I could refind it when I returned with my camera.
STILL NO CHIFFCHAFF but I'm sure it will be any day now. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

As I left the house at 07:00 on Sunday 06/03/16 Siskins were on the feeders in the garden.
Walking down through Kirkins and 2 Bullfinches were in the brambles at the top.As Iwalked down the track some Redpolls flew over and a Green Woodpecker took off from the small orchard.Into the paddock and Redwings and Fieldfares were in abundance.
Onto the lake where there were 4 Great-crested Grebes,a Kingfisher, Mallard and Moorhen viewable from the dam end.
Next down the lane past the pumping station and Grey Wagtail was on the stream and a Pied Wagtail was in amongst the sheep.Siskins and Goldfinches were feeding in the poplars.
 I have put up a feeder at the southern end of the lake and was delighted to find at least 2 Marsh Tits coming in with Great,Blue and Coal Tits plus a couple of Nuthatches and a Water Rail scurried away from under it.
Marsh Tit on the feeder.
Around on the Shirrenden side and three Kestrels were dislaying over the paddock.
The stock pond held a Grey Heron but still no Little Owl was found.As I left, the local pair of Buzzards came out of the wood calling loudly.
I spent some time watching the garden feeders and counted 18 Siskins plus 3 Redpolls amongst the Goldfinches,House Sparrows,Chaffinches and pair of Greenfinches.
Lesser Redpoll in the garden

I was very pleased with the 50 species seen durng the day even though no new species were added to the year total. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

 The patch has been a bit in the doldrums for the last couple of weeks.Around the orchards both Fieldfare and Redwing remain in good numbers but the lake is still quiet. The highlite was a second pair of  Great-crested Grebes on the 19th which stayed for a week before the first pair bullied them into leaving.
The local pair of Buzzards have become a bit more noticable of late and on the 27th a pair of Sparrowhawks were displaying over the lake.
On the 25th a pair of Kestrels were on the dead tree in Shirrenden and on the same day three Grey Wagtails were on the stream and a Little Grebe was hiding under some lakeside branches.
It's been great to have the Siskins in the garden with a dozen there on Sunday 28th joined by a couple of Redpolls.
 Siskins in the garden.

Cracking male Redpoll in the garden
With spring just around the corner I'm hoping that things will pick up on the patch.