Sunday, 28 November 2010

S-No-W Bunting

I was suprised by the amount of snowfall when I got home from uni the other day, there was only a light covering in Middlesbrough.
On my way back from Crammy train station it began to snow and as I passed the bus stop at the top of my street a Woodcock flew low overhead.

On friday morning I sorted out the feeders in the garden and put out some more seed, nuts and fruit. The birds around the estate are the most picky I have ever known and on friday snubbed the food on offer.
I got a message on friday from JM saying that a Snow Bunting had been at the east end of West Hartford. With only 20 minutes of light left I went over with LMcD to investigate.

11 Siskin along with a few Goldfinch were stripping the buds from the only non snow covered tree at the far west end of the entrance plantation.
Althougt the pools were frozen, a few Teal, Lapwing and Snipe were at the back of the bigger pool.
A group of 8 Meadow Pipit were along the edges of the smaller pool as was a male Stonechat which at one point in Treecreeper style, crept up the side of a dead tree trunk before dropping down onto the ice, behaviour I have never seen from a Stonechat before.

With no sign of the Snow Bunting, which would be hard enough to find when the ground is clear never mind in the snow, we headed back.
In the near darkness groups of Redwing, Fieldare and Skylark flew over, no sign of any owls.

Since friday the garden birds have become less picky and today the feeders were alive with activity. House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Coal Tit and a record 12 Blue Tit have been in the bushes behind the feeders for most of the day.
Other more unusual garden visitors today were a Jackdaw and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
I have been hearing this GS Woodpecker every sunday morning for the last 5 weeks and last weekend was the first time I managed to see it.
After doing some acrobatics on the neighbours fence it flew onto the feeders and chased of the Starling which mobbed it.
30 Pink Footed Geese went south yesterday and 60+ seemed to land over WH yesterday afternoon.
Also I got a call from DMcK this morning telling me that he was watching a Peregrine over Valley Park. Its a good job I have already seen Peregrine on the patch this year, I didn't fancy going to the other side of town in this weather.

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