Saturday, 31 January 2015

Friday 30th January

The week flies. Admittedly Saturday to Friday isn't quite a full week, and only 6 days, but still ...

At first glance the view from the hide wasn't that enthralling - a handful of gulls and distant Cormorants, but sure enough the birds were out there.

The total roundup from the SH hide included 12 Little Grebe, c. 90 Canada Geese and 80 Wigeon, 30 Mallard, 30 Teal, 10 Tufted Duck and 4 rather distant female type Goldeneye.

The gulls were represented by a dozen or so each of Black-headed and Herring, with single Lesser Black-back and 2 Great Black Backed Gulls. A Grey Heron was hanging about, as was a Little Egret with interesting legs - a greenish grey as opposed to the normal black - but only interesting in that it was most probably a young bird rather than being a rare transatlantic Snowy Egret ... 5 Cormorant in total could be seen.

Synchronised Cormorants - the next olympic event?

Lean to the left ... ok, not quite that synchronised then.

... and stretch. 

Not the only Cormorant to ever have done this by a long stretch.

Two each of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail and a single Lapwing roosting on the nearest islet suddenly became 60 or more, although 5 minutes later all the ducks and assorted small birds took flight (presumably an unseen raptor or other scary bird flew over - unfortunately not seen by me), and suddenly we were back to 2 Lapwings. But they had been there.

Lapwings looking a bit worried

Naughty young gulls. Always begging for more ...

(It can be seen from this photo that there was also a Carrion Crow present; other birds included two distant Buzzard, but that really was just about it.)

The Southern cut-off held another 20 or so Teal and a single Coot - a Southern cut-off site year tick. Exciting stuff. The feeders were almost depleted, but the birds weren't. No snow here yet (probably won't be), but it has gone cold again - if I'm feeling it the birds most certainly will be.

16 or so Chaffinch, 6 Blue Tit, 3 Great Tit, 4 Dunnock and 3 Robin, with 2 each of House Sparrow, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Reed Bunting. Goldfinches, single Greenfinch and Blackbird and the Water Rail probably completed the line-up.

The couple who had been in the hide before my arrival and left whilst I was finishing the feeders had mentioned the woodpeckers hadn't been down to the feeders; upon filling them of course they suddenly were. A Goldcrest flew past, and that was mostly it.

First winter Blackbird, 'ouzing' charm- note the pale neck band

Woodpecker acrobatics - finally on camera.

Two Ravens wheeling and cronking over the farm buildings were a pleasant addition to the days proceedings - once upon a time would have been a very exciting addition. Now a species almost to be guaranteed in the wilder farmed stretches hereabouts.

A short walk along the eastern side as far as the dam produced nothing more exciting than better views of some of the aforementioned waterfowl, an extra half dozen Little Grebe-esque blobs, a couple of Wren buzzing from almost underfoot, and a Buzzard. And a Fox. The bitter wind had abated somewhat (or I'd toughened up slightly) as I made the return and enjoyed better views of 3 of the Goldeneye as they gathered ready for the night.

Goldeneye, 003 

No sign of the Slavonian Grebe, but that doesn't mean it isn't there, somewhere ... Reported as still present on the 29th Jan (Birdguides). Grey Wagtail reported on the 26th ( F Rice).

Looking back

Southern Cut-off from the Carnmenellis Causeway

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