Saturday, 1 November 2008

Saturday 1st.November 2008

I was 'excused billhook' today , as only 20/25 metres of hedge was left to be layed at Leith Hill , the lads who live locally were going to finish it , and still have an early day . As it turns out , with the wet weather coming in earlier than originally forecast , their early day might well have been earlier than they anticipated .
Anyway , I was having a wash and shave this morning , when for the second day running , I heard the 'chack-chack' of Fieldfares . I dashed to the back bedroom window to see a flock of about 25/30 , mostly Fieldfares and a few Redwings circling my neighbour's Catoneaster shrub , which is heavily laden with red berries . The shrub is only about 25 metres from the back of the houses , and the birds were naturally wary . They finished up landing in adjacent trees , and surveying the picture from a distance . Eventually , one or two of them got brave and flew into the Cotoneaster . The majority flew off once again , heading up towards the Common . Further smaller flocks flew over , some stopping to look , some landing and some flying straight on . Even the ones that landed on the Cotoneaster didn't stop long , as , although it was quiet enough down there , I think the berries , although red , were not ripe enough for them , which would make the tannin level high . In all , I estimate I saw 75+ Fieldfares and 25+ Redwings , whether they were the same ones going round and round , I don't know .
As I was not sure what I was going to do today , I 'did a Warren' , and had a two hour garden , feeder , sky watch from 0800-1000hrs , during which time , I recorded 22 species .
Corvids included several Jays flying backwards and forwards between the gardens , no doubt creating Winter 'stashes' . This one settled momentarily on a neighbour's children's climbing frame . A couple of Carrion Crows and three Magpies were constantly arguing with everyone else , including the Jackdaws , and talking of which , I think we are going to have to get larger feeders if they all catch on like this one .
The strange looking Pigeon was back again , clearing up under the feeders , and I managed a clearer shot . As you can see , it has the white wing bars of a Wood Pigeon , but no roundels on the neck . Also helping to keep things tidy on the ground were anything up to six Collared Doves .
There were singletons of Blackbird , Starling , Robin and Dunnock , and Finches were
represented by 15+ Chaffinch , 8 Goldfinch and 4 Greenfinch .
A flock of about 15/20 Rose Ringed Parakeets , the largest flock I have seen for some time , flew over noisily , and at the same time , higher up 4 Common Gulls lazed over .
Blue Tits were continually visiting the feeders as was a single Coal Tit . At one point , Tit numbers increased dramatically , with a passing feeding group of Blue , Great and Long Tailed , and , for the first time in the garden , Marsh Tit .A terrible picture I know , but with the light conditions and the speed it took seed , it was the best I could get . After a cup of coffee , I set out to see if I could find any of the 'Scandinavians' before the imminent rain started . I went through the woods and out onto the bridleway through the farm . I did see two flocks , one of about 30 birds , the other about 20 , mainly Fieldfares , but no chance of getting within camera distance of them . I don't know if they were the ones I had seen earlier or new arrivals . Wlilst out , I did manage to add 3 species , being 1 Wren , 2 House Sparrow and 3 Linnets . That should have been the end of this post , but about 20 minutes ago , whilst in the middle of writing it , Carol shouted up that there was a Greater Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders near to the house . They usually stay down on the furthest ones , so I grabbed the camera and shot downstairs . He was still there , looking as if someone had just taken him out of a box .

Once again , the light conditions didn't do him justice , but it was a nice way to reach 25 species on a miserable , mirky day .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Your pigeon, is a young one greenie. well done on the marsh tit. Nice to see in the garden.