Sunday, 26 February 2012

February blues

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull
 If I had to say what was
my least favourite month
I would probably go for
Admittedly last weekend
saw a fantastic addition
to my patch list, but today
was more typical.
The highlight occurred
shortly after I arrived as
a long line of calling Gulls
appeared over Spernall
Wood and headed west.
I counted 150, most of
which, about 120, were
Herring Gulls. The rest
were Lesser Black-backed.
As a rule, the more
frequently seen species
here is Lesser Black-backed, and there is a small but significant breeding population in nearby Redditch. Herring Gulls are more usual in mid-winter and today's record-equalling count was quite surprisingly late in the season. Very few of either species were seen during the rest of the day so I suppose these were birds heading from a roost site somewhere, perhaps Draycote although that is a long way to the east. Dave Scanlan arrived shortly after the spectacle and we worked the area for the rest of the morning adding only typical species in uninspiring numbers. We met up with John Yardley, who had also seen the Gull flock. Yesterday he had seen 90 Teal and a Green Sandpiper, but today we could only see 33 Teal and no waders on the flash. We wandered a little further than usual, finding half a dozen Siskins and a similar number of Snipe in and around a boggy field across the little brook. Early signs of spring were restricted to the Rooks gathering at their rookeries and a little more bird song. Roll on spring.

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