Saturday, 26 January 2013

Winter Wonders In the Sun!

Yesterday, Friday 26th saw me after work driving over to Shuart to see if I could pick up any year ticks as a few species had eluded me so far. I was particularly looking for Yellowhammers of which there have been a few seen in recent days and as this is a scarce bird I wanted to get it on the list as quick as possible. With the snow still covering a large part of the area I soon picked out a flock of Red legged Partridge (92) and by the end of the session I had seen 42. Other birds I noticed were good numbers of Jackdaw (93), 7 Reed Bunting, 1 Kestrel, 3 Common Buzzard, 9 Corn Bunting (94) flew into roost, 2 Goldcrest but no sign of any Yellowhammer unfortunately. This morning I was out of the house at 6.30am where after some rain the weather was forecast to be sunny. I failed to see or hear any Owls and a while later I parked up at Shuart where whilst warming up with a coffee 1 Woodcock flew over the car. The rain started to fall for a while but thankfully it cleared a while later and the promised blue skies appeared. Birds noted around Shuart were 4 Woodcock, 4 Yellowhammer (95) flew over calling, a welcome addition at last, 5 Reed Bunting, c20 Fieldfare, 1 Common Buzzard, 8 Red legged Partridge seen but the thaw had started making them harder to see in the fields and 1 Ring necked Parakeet (96) flew over calling. There were 2 Jay, 1 Green Woodpecker, 3 Lesser Redpolls (97) landed briefly before moving off quickly and 1 Great spotted Woodpecker was noted. I then moved on to Chambers Wall at 8.30am where I walked up to Coldharbour meeting Chris and Anne Hindle and later Julian Perry where we noted some good birds. Making the notebook were 1 Kestrel, 15 Golden Plover, 35 Redshank, 2 Grey Heron, 9 Grey Plover, c50 Dunlin, c450 Cormorant flying east offshore and 3 red head Smew (98) were seen in the Wantsum briefly before they flew off and landed a bit further away. Scanning where they had landed I saw another bird with them but taking some very distant shots I thought it was a Goldeneye and when Chris returned he called me to confirm that it was indeed a Goldeneye (99), a very good bird on the patch. Moving on I noted 2 Avocet in Coldharbour allowing a few shots, 5 Shoveler offshore with c600 Wigeon, 3 Turnstone, 17 Skylark, 1 Stonechat, 7 Pintail  (100) offshore, 1 Red throated Diver, c400 Brent Geese, 17 Curlew in one flock, 2 Shelduck, 1 Water Rail, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Woodcock and checking likely ditches revealed 2 Snipe and 1 Jack Snipe (101) which I nearly walked on. Walking back to the car I had 1 Greenfinch (102) and as I left I noticed 2 Water Rail feeding in a ditch which allowed me to hang out of the car and grab a few shots in the sun of this normally secretive bird. A great session in nice weather, some quality seen and the year list ticking along nicely.

Avocet


Water Rail

5 comments:

  1. Cracking Water Rail Marc,
    Looks like the pleasant weather aint gonna last too long!

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  2. Beautiful flight shot! The Rail is fantastic!

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  3. Marc ,
    102 species in 26 days is a pretty good strike rate I'd say .
    Nice shots in the sunshine .

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  4. Marc.
    Wonderful variety of bird species, well done, but the highlight for me must be that you managed to get such great shots of the very secrative Water Rail.

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