Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunday 30th. January 2011

Having finally finished off all my chores , the sunshine that broke through just after lunch , had me heading for a look around a bitterly cold Hayes Farm . The first sightings as I crossed the stile were a small flock of Finches and with them a few Redwings , which flew off immediately . I put up more Redwings as I passed the remains of the Brussel Sprout PYO patch , along with a large flock of Woodpigeons . In the scrub behind the farmyard was a flock of Goldfinches with an odd Greenfinch amongst them . The first horse paddock contained a large mixed corvid flock , evenly split Carrion Crows and Jackdaws , but included 3/4 Rooks as well . Over on the far side , around a wet patch , there must have been 75/100 Redwings feeding on the ground , a small proportion pictured here . They were very flighty , moving further away as I closed on them , but I did find one specimen sat up in a bush , seemingly enjoying the warmth of the sun , but even this one flew off just after the shutter went . Usually the paddocks are covered in Black-headed Gulls at this time of year , but very few were about today , but they were replaced by fewer Common Gulls in small parties all over the site . The usual Rose Ringed Parakeets screeched by arrival as I headed down towards the Trout Fishery and in the paddock before , spotted a new resident amongst the usual horses , a Shetland Pony . The Fishery was quiet apart from the constant honking of the farmyard Geese , but Coot , Moorhen , Mallard , Little Grebe , 'Bitser Duck' and Mute Swan all put in an appearance . There were in fact a pair of Mute Swans feeding on the far side , but the cob kept a watchful eye all the time I was there . On my return , I spotted several Pied Wagtails feeding around the horses in another paddock , including several immature birds like the one pictured . Alongside the path which runs parallel to the ditch , I found a mixed feeding flock working it's way along the scrub/trees the other side of the ditch . It was made up mainly of Long Tailed Tits , hardly ever stopping in the constant search for food , and whilst try to get a few shots of them , noticed movement in one of the larger trees , which turned out to be two Tree Creepers . I got myself into position to get a few shots , when a runner in a reflective tabard and his dog came along , and that was the last I saw of the Tree Creepers . Further along the ditch , I did find a Goldcrest , as usual constantly on the move . I tried for ages to get a decent shot , but the best I could manage was one with it's back towards the camera and two sticks in front of it , nothing changes . Almost back to the car , I spotted two small birds fly in to an area of longer grass . Eventually one showed briefly before disappearing again , but then for a split second the two of them showed and I was able to identify them as Meadow Pipits , well camouflaged in the shot above .
By the time I got back to the car , my hands and feet were numb , but when I totted up the species seen/heard , which amounted to 34 , I headed off home well pleased .


Warren Baker said...

Lots about for you today Greenie :-)

The Redwing and Fieldfare have started to gather on the pasture here too.

Isn't it difficult standing, freezing cold and waiting for those Goldcrest/Treecreepers to come into shot :-)

ShySongbird said...

That sounded like a good day Greenie and 34 was excellent. I had the same experience with a Treecreeper and a dog walker last year, so annoying! I have also had trouble trying to get a decent Goldcrest photo.

A lovely photo of the LTTs which reminds me that I haven't seen any in my garden for some time.