Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wednesday 3rd. April 2013

Firstly , a catch up on yesterday , when at least the sun was out , taking a bit of the chill off that Easterly wind . After a detour to avoid a road closure for an earlier accident , my first stop was Bough Beech Reservoir , but not before encountering another accident on ice , just before arriving . Although the scrape by the Visitor Centre was frozen over , and consequently very quiet , I did find a
female Kestrel , tucked up out of the wind in the lee of a large Oak . She looked so comfortable , I didn't have the heart to get any closer , and left her in peace . From the lookout by the VC , Wigeon
could be seen , confirming that Winter is still upon us ., and closer , a Wren was fossicking amongst
the tussocks and woodpiles , before chasing off to defend his patch . Still not a sign of a Brambling at the feeders , which were dominated by Great and Blue Tits along with Greenfinches and Goldfinches . Under the feeders , it was first come , first served , as several Pheasants , and a pair of
Mallard , were scrapping for anything that dropped to the ground . The view from the causeway was very watery , with the reservoir and the North Lake full to capacity , and that water spilling into the woods all around both , meaning no mud to attract any migrants . On the main reservoir , 1M and 2F Goosander flew across , landing just before the trees , and within seconds disappeared into them . I
was luckier on the North Lake , where a female was feeding , although at distance . My second stop was up on the Greensand Ridge , where I had a look around the Adder hibernation sites , without finding a single animal . The books say that Adders don't feed between emergence and mating , so hopefully the return to cold weather won't cause any harm to them , some having emerged in the milder weather a couple of weeks ago . My last stop was to check up on the Long Tailed Tit's nest that I posted a week ago . The masterpiece is now complete , and as I thought , the entrance hole is
at the height that the nest was at on my previous visit . I didn't see any LTTs at the nest , but four were gorging on the fat balls at the feeders . Still plenty of Siskins around and two Marsh Tits came to the feeders , it would be great if they bred on the reserve . Three Common Buzzards drifted over
soon after I arrived , and just before leaving , another two saw me off the property . On my way home , I stopped off to see the juvenile Common Buzzard , but for the second time in a week , I couldn't find it . It might have moved on after over-Wintering , or possibly been driven off if it was born there and the parents have returned to regain their breeding area . Which ever it is , the juvenile certainly gave me a lot of pleasure watching over the Winter .
This morning , I did what I'm sure was the coldest bird survey ever at Down House . Being high up , the bitter wind kept the species count down to just 15 , with nothing out of the ordinary amongst them . Not a single migrant , either Winter or Summer was recorded either . I must admit , I was glad to get back to the car , and home for a hot drink . Back home , the birds have been giving the feeders a right bashing , and today , about lunchtime , we had five Siskins , 4M and 1F , 3 males pictured
through the kitchen window here . We also had a pair of Coal Tits just afterwards , it would be nice if
 they stayed and nested around the garden . Good to see that someone is using the barbecue in these conditions .


Warren Baker said...

That sure was cold today Greenie, still another four - five days of to go as well !!

Siskins doing well at my feeders too :-)

ShySongbird said...

Another interesting read with some nice, varied sightings Greenie. The Kestrel did look like she'd found a good spot. It must be very hard for the wildlife at the moment. I should think any en route migrant birds will turn back once they get a whiff of our dire weather!

I hope the LTTs are successful, you must keep us updated.

John of The Chid said...

Great News about the Two Marsh tits... did either have a ring??

Phil said...

I reckon your juvenile Buzzard has headed off to warmer climes Greenie, which is what I'll do soon if things don't get better!

Malachite11 said...

Hi Greenie
Great blog and one I follow with a keen interest. I live just off Oakley Road and would love to be able to see the Buzzard before it departs. Can you give me any more information to expand on your blog as to where it the likely place to be seen. I assume you are at the fishing ponds at the end of Oakley Road?