Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday February 16

Sunny with light winds.

As I waited for Dave to arrive I busied myself trying to add something to the photo-list. This was reasonably successful as I finally got a shot of a Wren.

43. Wren
There were also lots of Yellowhammers on offer, and about 300 corvids, but I settled for a male Blackbird.

male Blackbird
As Dave arrived we spotted some Herring Gulls going over. It is unlikely that I will get a chance to photograph this species on the ground here, so they were duly photo-ticked.

44. Herring Gull
Birding then started in earnest, and it wasn't long before we found a year-tick, albeit a soft one, in the form of a Long-tailed Tit.  We reached the pool and diverted to see if the Tawny Owl was in residence. It wasn't. Then, rather than wade back along the bridle path we took a short-cut across the pool field. This inevitably led us to see if there were any Jack Snipes we could flush, and the answer was yes, three.

Arriving at the flashes I saw that a Green Sandpiper was wading in the middle of the near flash, and as I doubt we'll see any close at hand, I took some photos.

45. Green Sandpiper
The rather blurred and small image does not bode well for potentially producing evidence of small waders as the year progresses. Assuming we get any.

I noticed that the Chaffinches in the hedge were unusually vocal, and soon found the cause of their displeasure. A Little Owl. Another year tick.

46. Little Owl
Shortly afterwards a Siskin called as it flew, unseen, overhead. They have been notably scarce this winter and I had almost resigned myself to waiting until next autumn for one.

We followed our usual route back, and one more year-tick appeared over the horizon, as two Cormorants flew west. Back at our cars we dithered about whether to go home or keep birding. In the end we just ambled up to the farm and back, seeing a single Lesser Redpoll for our trouble.

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