We are now in to the quiet dark days of winter sure enough. After a lovely sharp sunny frosty day yesterday, today was just dull, in more ways than one. Before I get on to today, a quick note about yesterday.
|My garden view point.|
Saturday was the #GardenBirdRace day on Twitter. Just like the spring lockdown version, a lot of people entered. At first I couldn't really be arsed and now I regret that a bit as conditions were ideal all morning with no wind, nice sunshine and a sharp white frost. You could hear a pin drop a field away. As I fed the birds first thing, a Woodcock flushed from below our bird table. Its always good to get on actually in the garden rather than over it. While topping up the feeders, a pair of Grey Partridges flew along the back field, but that was about it. I had other things to do.
By early afternoon, some cloud cover had removed the brightness and all jobs were finished so I took myself outside onto the drive for a couple of hours. Here I soon racked up a straight 40 species without much trouble. The highlights were a total of 5 Woodcock, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Sparrowhawks, Kestrel, a Brambling, 2 Yellowhammers, some Oystercatchers, our Tree Sparrows and the local Barn Owl.
Biggest misses were Magpie, Great black backed Gull, Meadow Pipit, Redwing and Song Thrush.
Some talk of county listing on Twitter the other day with my fellow Northumberland Birders, sent me on a twitch up the road this morning. Cetti's Warbler is a relatively new bird in our county and one I have only heard singing here in the past. For a British or County tick I like to see the first one, so there have been recent sightings only 6 miles north of us at Newton Pool that had us loitering around there this morning. To cut a long story short we didn't see much at all and Cetti's is still a gap on my list...but it gives me a target to claw back over the quiet weeks ahead, and one my peers already have so it would bump me up a notch...
|A gloomy Kestrel this morning.|