Roll on Spring. It's only November and I am already looking forward to Spring. I can't wait for those light early mornings when you can get out birding before work and I think what's also making me have this whinge is being gripped off by mate Ian this morning. I'm sat at my computer writing a report when my phone beeps with a text message; it's from Ian. "Black-throat feeding close in off the Coastguards". Bastard! An hour later my phone beeps; it's Ian, again. "Three Long-tailed Ducks west off the Point; 1 male and 2 female/immatures". Bastard, again!
I have to go to the farm at lunchtime to feed my Tree Sparrows so I try and console myself with "at least I'm getting out". Some poor birders will be indoors 9-5, Mon-Fri with their jobs, so I should look on the bright side.
The first bird that greets me as I drive past the barn is a male Sparrowhawk. By the way if you haven't seen it or read it there's a cracking article in this months BB on Sparrowhawks by Ian Newton. Thrush numbers, or more to the point Blackbird numbers, have dropped since Sunday. Although in the short walk round I had 19, which wasn't a bad count for here. Fieldfares and Redwings numbered only 3 and 5.
Perhaps the most notable and spectacular site of the morning were the large numbers of Woodpigeons. A large number were feeding to the west of the farm and then a second wave flew in from the east. In total I estimated 1,300 birds.
Tree Sparrow numbers were similar to recent days and I counted 209. Other related finch/bunting numbers included 6 Yellowhammers, 2 Reed Buntings and 4 Corn Buntings.
To brighten my page up I am going to include a photograph or two every time. This might be of something taken during a particular visit or something completely random and today is something completely random. Above is a picture of an adult Blue Tit. Now, the none ringers amongst you might say "how do you know its an adult". Well the answer is easy. If you look at the greater coverts you will see that they are all uniform blue showing no contrast in colouration or wear, which means that they have all been renewed at some point as part of a full moult meaning this bird is an adult. Told you it was easy!
Dragonflies on the menu today - Willow Emerald Damselfly I presume- three along the permitted footpath along the Northern Lake. I had a tip off from Gordon Hay that they were out in for...
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