Means that there is no daylight to do any patch birding. However, a change in the weather on Monday did, indeed, shuffle things up a bit. Most of this week has seen temps drop to -5 here at Howick, with snow in varying amounts most days. This has encouraged birds to move towards the coast from more hard pressed areas, so I have managed a good total of patch ticks without leaving the garden.
Each day I feed the birds at first light before heading off to work. In the quiet of morning, calls are easy to detect as things move from roost to feeding sites early on in these short days.
So what has been occurring?
Skylark - The distinctive ripple call of birds in the stubble behind our house.
Barn Owl - In the evening, the harsh, wheezing hiss of a bird hunting along the field margin next to our drive.
Grey Wagtail - One over the roof of the holiday cottage calling 'Tssick'.
Golden Plover - Three this morning flying over the back field. Silent.
Redwing - A few in the copse next to the garden calling 'Tzeee' then seen in flight.
Fieldfare - 20+ with Redwings above, including one on apples in our garden today.
Meadow Pipit - A lone bird dancing over the stubble calling 'seeet'.
Nice, 7 patch ticks, all on foot, taking me up to 83 patch species so far in January ( 82 on shanks's). Hopefully more to come this weekend in this easterly gale and snow...
Not a bad patch really, still no Yellowhammer or Collared Dove though....