An account of the wildlife I come across and hopefully pictures to bring the account closer
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 .