Friday, 1 January 2016

Ne'rday Birding

It was a cooler morning this morning than of late when I set off on my walk at the Obs. The southeasterly wind was biting and the the complete cloud cover didn't compensate with any warmth from the sun.

As I set off on my walk Pink-footed Geese were dropping in to the farm fields across the road and a few small parties headed north. A Song Thrush was nice as I don't always record them when I'm out. There were just two Short-eared Owls this morning and I got some fantastic views as they flew close past me. It was great to look at them with the naked eye and watch them turn there head to look at me and make eye contact; cool!

There has been some interaction between the 'Shorties' and the local Kestrels (three this morning) and I observed one such interaction today. A Shortie had dropped to the ground, presumably on mammalian prey, and a Kestrel steamed in from the right and ploughed in to the Owl. However, the Shortie wasn't having any of it and drove the Kestrel off!

There seems to be plenty of food around for the Shorties, and that's whats probably holding them here, and I saw both Short-tailed Vole and Common Shrew this morning myself.

I didn't push any Snipe off the wetland, just a Grey Heron, but I did lift one Snipe from the dune slack as I walked past. I had a single bird on vis this morning in the form of a Siskin heading south. It always seems to me that Siskins can be mobile at any time of year.

The sea was very quiet, although a single Little Gull south was a bit of a surprise, and the 15 Common Scoters and four Eiders were expected. The walk back to the car was fairly uneventful with just a female Stonechat to add.


I called in at the wood and there was some activity along the woodland edge where a Hawthorn hedge is adjacent to some Alders. I had two Long-tailed Tits, eight Goldfinches, 35 House Sparrows, a Goldcrest and a Song Thrush.

The pools were quiet with just 27 Coots and two Pochards. I then had a look on the 'geese' fields and there was 600 Pink-footed Geese with nothing amongst them, and a Buzzard was searching for invertebrates in an adjacent field.

 Pink-footed Geese

Gail and I had a walk along the coast after lunch and we had a few waders including 99 Turnstones (including two of our leg flagged birds), 30 Redshanks, 163 Sanderlings and 30 Ringed Plovers.

The forecast is looking at bit mixed for tomorrow but there might be half a chance for a couple of hours birding before the rain comes in later in the morning, I'll certainly give it a try.

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