Sunday, 20 December 2009

Sunday 20th. December 2009

After early morning cloud , the day gradually brightened up to a crisp Winter's day , with blue sky and wall to wall sunshine . Once I had sorted some bits and pieces and had lunch . I headed to Hayes Farm for a look around . The sun was shining bright , but the car thermometer was hovering around 0C , and to be honest , it felt colder . As I entered the site , over a stile , movement in the remains of the Maize crop caught my attention . At first I thought it was a flock of Finches , but it turned out to be a flock of 10/12 Dunnocks , a species that I have not noticed flocking before . The sun was directly behind me at the start , ideal for birding , but I knew that on my return , I would be looking straight into it . From the direction of the Trout Fishery , two small skeins of Canada Geese were heading off , must have heard I was on my way . This was the second skein . All was quiet around the 'pick your own' area , and no sign of the female Stonechat that made it her home for most of last Winter . Behind the log piles , several Rabbits were nervously feeding and dashing back into their Bramble covered retreat . It was very noticeable that far fewer horses are in the paddocks this year , and consequently , I didn't find a single Pied Wagtail this visit . On the diagonal track , I did find a single Meadow Pipit , which I think is the first one that I have recorded on the site . A few Tits and a couple of Green Woodpecker were all that was found on the way to the Trout Fishery . About one third of the water was frozen over , mainly on the far side , and it was there that many Black-headed Gulls , and a single , much larger juvenile Common Gull , I think , were performing their ablutions . The usual residents all put in an appearance . then , just I was about to leave , two of the 'farmyard ducks' , a pair of Mallard and the Egyptian Goose , appeared from nowhere , and proceeded to cross the lake . It's the first time that I have recorded the Egyptian Goose this Autumn/Winter . It is surprising seeing the Goose near the Mallard , just how small this species is . At one point the Egyptian Goose came in close to the bank , giving a good close-up . Leaving the Trout Fishery , and heading back into the low Winter sun , not much else was seen , until almost reaching the stile again , when a small flock of what looked like Finches , wheeled around , and started feeding on some weed seeds . Eventually I got close enough to identify that it was mainly Linnets , with a few Goldfinches , thrown in for good measure . I managed a shot of them before leaving .
24 species had been recorded , but more importantly , a couple of hours out and about in the Winter sunshine had been very enjoyable , albeit pretty cold .


Wilma said...

Lovely closeup of the egyptian goose, you can even see blue sky reflected in the water. Good shot of the rabbits, too. We are rarely able to see rabbits in the open long enough to get shot of the them. Most often all I see is footprints in the snow. Looks like you had a nice but chilly outing.

Warren Baker said...

Well done on the Meadow Pipit Greenie, a species hard to get close to I always find.

I thought it was quite a bit warmer today, if you stood out the wind and in the sun. :-)