Sunday, 27 February 2011


As the title suggest I stayed local this weekend. I managed a few hours out with LMcD this morning. First stop was Wet Hartford.
Apart from a pair of Mallard there was nothing on either of the pools. 10 Snipe were on the marshy field and 4 Reed Bunting were flitting about the reeds.

Before we left 2 Skylark and a Meadow Pipit, (my first of the year) were calling above.
Next we checked the gulls opposite the Tommy Tippee factory, where 2 Lesser Black backed Gulls were amongst the Herring and Common Gulls feeding on the grass.
Instead of parking near Arcot we walked down via Beacon Lane, to see if the Golden Plover were still in the fields.
On our way down the lane 5 Yellowhammer and 3 Grey Partridge were calling form the fields near the horse paddock. At first we couldn’t see any Golden Plover and whilst checking, 8 Skylark and a Mistle Thrush flew around the fields. Also there were 3 Greylag Geese in the field behind the farm on Beacon Lane. As we were leaving 2 Golden Plover flew across and landed near the farm.

On our way to Arcot we heard three different Great Spotted Woodpeckers, (one was drumming near the golf course) and a Nuthatch.
Yesterdays Shoveler was not on the pond but there were 20+ Teal and Mallard, 3 Moorhen, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye and a Canada Goose.

58 - Skylark
59 - Meadow Pipit
60 - Reed Bunting
61 - Lesser Black backed Gull
62 - Yellowhammer
63 - Mistle Thrush
64 - Greylag Geese
65 - Golden Plover
66 - Canada Goose

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Good news and a Garden Tick

I woke up to the good news that the fascist regime has decided not to sell off our forests. I think the only way I can look at the scenario is by using a Star Wars analogy; The people who voted against the sell off were like the rebels who destroyed the first Death Star, but they always new that in the end the Empire will strike back.
Well that’s how I see it anyway.

When I got back home today I was watching 4 Long Tailed Tits on the feeder, when they were joined by a Goldcrest – Garden Tick! It has been commuting between the conifer trees and the feeders for the rest of the afternoon.

I managed to get a lift to Arcot this afternoon, after helping with the shopping where I managed to get Pied Wagtail on the patch at last. It was in Manor Walks car park incase anyone wants to twitch it.

I was expecting Arcot to be dead as it usually is these days but instead was pleased to see 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye ( 1 male, 3 female), 1 Moorhen and 2 Oystercatchers sitting on the wood in the middle of the pond.
As we drove back, a Nuthatch flew in front of the car next to the golf club entrance.

52 – Goldcrest
53 – Pied Wagtail
54 – Tufted Duck
55 – Oystercatcher
56 – Moorhen
57 - Goldeneye

Monday, 14 February 2011

Early Morning Song

This morning between 5-7 a Song Thrush was singing from the school field. I thought this might have been the earliest patch tick I have had ever, but just remembered the Blackbird calling at 4 in the morning on new years eve. Wish I could hear a tawny calling at that time.

51 - Song Thrush

Friday, 11 February 2011


My birding will be limited unitl the 14th March at least but I will try to get to West Hartford a couple of times. I spent and hour at WH with SH yesterday afternoon checking the Snipe field.
Not many snipe were around but 5 Grey Partridge flew from the field next to the fire station.

Most of the field was covered in water but in the dry area near the brick building a Short Eared Owl flew low over the ground before landing in the middle of the field.
This SEO is a very pale bird like one of the individuals present this time last year. By the time we had left it was still sitting in the middle of the field, watching us with its glowing yellow eyes.

50 - Short Eared Owl

Friday, 4 February 2011

January Results and more

For some reason yesterday whilst trying to upload the 2011 patch league table I accidentely posted the template. Since I can't upload the table the results are as follows:

DMcK: 53

LMcD: 50

PJA: (thats me) 48

GM: 40

Not as aesthetically pleasing as the league table but since I can't find a way to put it on then it will have to do.

This morning before the wind pick up again, a flock of finches half landed in the school field and in my garden. At least 4 Siskin and 3 Redpoll landed in the garden.
They stayed in the tree dead tree tops for a couple of minutes and whilst looking at the Redpoll I noticed that the bird on the right looked different to the other two Redpoll.

It was a lot lighter, with bright white flanks, strong white wing bars, no peachy colour to it, heavy black streaking on its back, wings and front and it was a light beige colour rather than light brown.
After looking at images on the internet and in books I have come to the conclusion that it was a Mealy Redpoll- Crammy Lifer.

The flock has been back in the school field a few times since this morning but they dont settle for long in the strong wind.

I have had my best ever views of Redpoll during this winter and all of the birds I have seen including the 6 I had in the garden in December all looked darker with peach coloured wing bars.

49- Mealy Redpoll