Monday, 9 January 2012

Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th January

S.E.O. at the Pill in the sunshine (c) Peter Barker

White front back with the flock (c) Peter Barker

Dunnock starting to sing (c) Peter Barker

It continued mild this weekend with bright winter sunshine from mid-morning on Saturday and much calmer winds than of late. Short Eared Owls put on great displays both out at the Pill and around the carpark field as this E-mail from Steve Roby describes.....

“Cracking views of a 'Shortie' flying around the car park field from about 3.45 - 4.40 on Saturday. Pete and I thought it was our best SEO experience of the winter. At approx 4.25 the bird perched up in full view which allowed us to show about a dozen other visitors some very good scope images. There were at least three other birds flying around but these were distant, two over the South Pill Field and one at the back of The Closes.”

We found five birds out at the Pill on Saturday morning. The White fronted Goose is once again accompanying the Grey lag flock. It seemed particularly attached to a pair of them and was following them away from the flock. They however did not want company, several times driving it away and eventually evading it in flight. Duck numbers have remained fairly constant and the water levels have not increased much, sadly it looks as though we are in for a dry week!
The year count has moved on to sixty eight species with the addition of a number common birds including Meadow Pipit and Water Rail. As far as I know the Hen Harrier and Merlin have not yet been seen this year.
There are lots of very active passerines in the hedgerows and some are even beginning to sing, albeit in a slightly optimistic and half hearted way.

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