Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday February 9

A blustery grey start, becoming generally brighter by midday. Dave and I decided to vary our route by heading along the road towards Bannams Wood.

Before we got there we came across the Yellowhammer field again, and counting revealed at least 75. Later on we came across another 52 birds a field away, but we couldn't be sure that they were different birds so we opted to stick to the first count, itself another site record for us.

Dave gained two year-ticks, Mistle Thrush and Marsh Tit, and we finally got a year tick we both needed, Treecreeper, in the woodland edge. Turning to head back down to the pool we counted at least 50 Chaffinches and  Brambling in the hedgerow along with our seventh Bullfinch of the day.

The pool and flashes were all well flooded, and after noticing a couple of Coot on the former, we were surprised by three Tufted Ducks which flew up with Mallards. The flashes looked busy. About 100 Mallard obviously knew that the shooting season had ended, and with them we spotted three Wigeon, one an adult male, and nine Teal.

38. Teal
drake Wigeon
Another year-tick was available, although we almost forgot that we hadn't seen one here yet this year. A pair of Canada Geese were standing at the back of the flash near a well hidden Green Sandpiper and five Snipe.
39. Canada Goose
A large flock of Jackdaws, about 200, and a similar number of Starlings made the whole area look full of birds. A Peregrine then flew past, but only Dave spotted it. He shouted, but I had been fiddling with the camera and failed to get onto it.

So I ended the day with a year-list of 63 (two behind Dave). Actually, the day wasn't quite over because we then noticed a large flock of Stock Doves flying out of the wood. We agreed a count of 100, which is another site record.

Finally, I thought I'd put in a photograph of a fungus we saw at the roadside below Bannams Wood.

Until I find out what its actually called I am naming it Burnt Bun Fungus, (I won't say what Lyn decided to name it in case anyone of a delicate disposition is reading this blog).

PS After a bit of Internet research I've come up with a possible identification. If correct, then my made up name was actually not a bad one. Its actual name is King Alfred's Cakes, latin name Daldinia concentrica.

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