Monday, 8 February 2010

What a crappy day!! Constant sleet and wet snow put pay to any birding but it did allow me to sit in front of the window for most of the day watching the feeders. Temperatures barely got above freezing and forced loads of birds in. The highlights were a peak of 37 goldfinch, 21 chaffinch, 2 male siskin and a male lesser redpoll. Magpie and 5 long tailed tits at the end of the day added some more variety. Hopefully I should have my ringing C permit soon which will allow to to catch some these things.

Did manage to get in to the reserve for the harrier roost this evening and it was worth it. At least 14 marsh (1 male) and 2 ringtail hen harriers roosted in the tidal reedbed viewed from Gypsy Lane. It is probably the best winter since I have been here for a consistantly reliable roost.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Definitely a day of two halfs. The morning was foul with persistent light rain - nothing too bad just the annoying stuff that makes everything wet. Had to do a lagoon count in it and it was a nightmare trying to keep every lens dry. Still good numbers of birds present on the fresh marsh with total of 80 shelduck, 9 avocet and several spotted redshank. As usually happens, as soon as the sea calms down enough the see the birds they all bugger off. The large flock of common scoter (2100) held 7 velvets but apart for that everything else seems to have moved off.
By the end of the day the sun has come out and the was enough time to do some birding after work...just. Had a fantastic 30mins watching the roost from Fen Hide with at least 10 female marsh harriers to roost, a cracking male hen harrier and the 4th bittern sighting for the day. Not sure what is happening with the bitterns at the moment but I have never seen them so active outside the breeding season. Two water rails were feeding on the Fen Hide pool and at least 15 moorhens came into the pool roost and spent most of their time fighting with each other.

Peregrine take the yearlist to 114.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Things have gone a bit quiet over the last week with not a lot new happening. The bittern (s) still like showing well and we had great views of a bird in the air for nearly 5 mins before dropping back into the reeds. If the weather continues to warm up we may start to get some booming in the next few weeks.
The goldfinch flock seems to be getting a bit bigger and the mealy redpoll is still with them. Added siskin (113) to the list yesterday but haven't connected with the brambling yet. Both species have been really low in numbers this winter and I haven't even had lesser redpoll (the commoner one) yet.
Loads of song especially from the tits but did have Cettis warbler and bearded tit active this morning.
Nice to be able to leave the office in the gloom rather that the pitch black!