Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday 8th.February 2009

Went back this morning for another walk around Hayes Farm , this time with snow/slush underfoot . Things looked very quiet when I first arrived , but there were still several dog walkers about . In the large Oak , just over the stile were just 4 Woodpigeon , with no sign of the Winter Thrushes or mixed Finch flock . In the far corner , behind the houses , 3 Carrion Crows were turning over horse droppings , looking for breakfast . The Chickens were back on the manure heap fossicking around . In the little copse behind the log piles , were Greenfinches , Goldfinches and a few Chaffinches , and as they took off , a Skylark flew in the opposite direction calling .
Down in the field used as a car park for the boot sales , I found the Winter Thrushes , about
30/35 Redwings and about 15/20 Fieldfares , the most of the latter that I have seen on the site . The Fieldfares were feeding mainly in the open middle of the field and the Redwings were feeding on the areas around the sides , under the overhanging trees , where the snow had thawed completely , but making the ground resemble the Somme . Also in this field were about 4/5 Pied Wagtails , more than the usual pair I have found on previous visits . On the far side , a flock of 50/60 Starling were following the grazing horses around . On the way to the Trout Fishery , there were large numbers of Gulls in the air , mostly Black Headed , but some Common mixed in as well . It isn't a walk in this area without the Rose Ringed Parakeets being seen or heard , and I had a pair in an Old Oak which has many old Woodpecker holes in it , and also a fly over of four later on . Once again I found the Trout Fishery about 2/3rds. frozen over . All seemed pretty much as before with the exception of the second Little Greebe showing again , the female Tufted has now been joined by another female and also a male . The Fishery is very exposed and although milder today , I soon got cold looking around . I gave one more scan , and noticed something on the very far bank . When I first saw it , it was asleep , with it's head under it's wing , but from a distance , it looked like a small Egyptian Goose , but not quite right . At about this time , the Fishery Balliff arrived and entered the fenced off lake , via the locked gate . Seemed like a good time to go trespassing again I thought and followed him in . As it happened , he was a nice chap and keen on wildlife , and he took me round to get a closer look . As we approached , the resident white geese announced our arrival and everything was alerted . At least now I could see the head , and once again it didn't look right . In this shot it is with one of the 'Bitsers' and a Mallard type .
As we got closer it popped into the water and headed for the furthest corner of the lake .It'll probably turn out to be another 'Bitser' , but any ideas ? Just as we were walking back around the bank , a male Teal flew in and landed on the ice , once again , well distant from where we were , but it's the first that either of us have seen on the site . On the return part of the walk , I found several more Pied Wagtails in amongst the horses , probably 10+ in number . Also with the horses were many more Black Headed and Common Gulls .
A good number of Blackbirds , together with a couple of Song Thrushes were also found . Near the scaffold pole , that didn't have the female Kestrel perched on it today , I spotted something fly down to the ground , then perch back up on the electrified fence . Sure enough , as I got closer I could see it was a female Stonechat .
I tried to get closer , but she always flew off to keep her distance from me . The best I got , was
her eyeing up the next mouthful ,
then launching herself towards it . Eventually she got fed up of being photographed , and flew even further down the fenceline . I headed off back to the car , well happy with the morning , but before getting there managed to get a pair of Meadow Pipits , one here ,
and , just before the stile , I was overflown by a flock of 12/15 Skylark , who wheeled away and landed not too far away , and managed a shot of two of them .
Adding in the odd Magpie , Blue and Great Tit , Pheasant and Linnet , it was a very enjoyable walk .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

You were well rewarded for your endurance in the conditions today Greenie. You seem to have added a lot of species today that you don't normally see.

That bird looks like an egyptian goose to me!