Sunday 3 February 2013

February gets of to a flying start

With the toon at home yesterday and a belated birthday night out on Friday, I only managed one visit to the patch this weekend and that was delayed due to much celebrating last night, after the toon's magnificent victory.

A flock of about 450 pink-footed geese on the filed in front of the hamlet were grilled, they were all pink-foots. In the same field, three male grey partridges were competing for the attentions of a female - quite an impressive display, spring must be in the air.

The Budge fields are holding a lot of water, which has attracted a lot of dabbling ducks and few diving ducks too. Mostly wigeon and teal but also today were mallard, gadwall, shoveler, tufted duck, pintail and pochard. There were singles of each of the latter two, both new for the year list. There were also lots of curlew. On the big pool there were still two long-tailed ducks.

I saw a couple of species that I really didn't expect to see until the autumn today, great-spotted woodpecker and goldcrest. The goldcrest was in with a flock of ten or so long-tailed tits and a great tit. A passing sparrowhawk rattled them a bit!
Long-tailed tit
Elsewhere, at the north end, there was a small flock of mixed finches, mostly twite with linnet and goldfinch and on the beach, a female stonechat poked around amongst the flotsam and jetsam.

A couple of birders had seen a short-eared owl, but I didn't.

So today's effort takes the patch total up to 61 species and 65 points on the patchwork challenge.

49 grey partridge
50 pintail
51 pochard
52 great-spotted woodpecker
53 long-tailed tit
54 great tit
55 goldcrest
56 sparrowhawk
57 linnet
58 twite
59 stonechat
60 mute swan
61 cormorant

No comments: