Monday, 16 December 2013

Back in Action . . . . .

A very stressy weekend, but with xmas more or less taken care of now I ventured out for a bit of birding for the first time since early November :O
A cycle along to Far Pasture this morning reminded me of what I've been missing since the dragonfly season ended and my annual bout of SAD kicked in (it's true, once the summer is over, the dragonflies have gone and the weather turns for the worse, I find it really hard to get motivated for birding again and before I know it the Christmas build up takes over, it happens every year).

But within seconds of dismounting my (t)rusty bike at the forbidden pond gate I got my mojo back as three super little birds, a goldcrest, treecreeper and willow tit were all foraging the roadside hedges and better still, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a movement on the road and looked down to see a corker of a stoat bounding along the road beside me. He stopped and we eyed each other for a second at close quarters, then scurried off into the undergrowth. A magic moment.

A young photographer from Darlo informed me the pochard was still on the pond (first reported Saturday) so after a scan of the car park which was alive with passerines, star of which was a chiffchaff seen briefly, I went to the hide to tick the superb drake pochard which was most likely a site first for me.

Four little grebes were the best of the other waterfowl, surprisingly no snipe on show and a water rail was heard but not seen.

Back out again I had a sneaky look along the track where I gained better views of the chiffchaff (presumably the same one, as up to three overwintered last year) and found it to be a very dull grey bird so presumed it to be of the Scandinavian race abietinus
It's not surprising there were so many small insectivorous birds here though as there are more midges here than there were round my arse in the Highlands that time ;) and both pied and grey wagtails graced the pans of the sewage works, with good views of a small flock of maybe 8 feeding siskins completed my sightings here.

Back in the car park, the flat rock was freshly seeded by the photographer and was attracting a lot of attention from the tits and finches including a couple of Willows and a pair of Bullys (also an excellent nuthatch was taking peanuts from a baited stump) and a couple of bank voles nervously fed from under the rock.

More long-tailed tits and a helluva lot of goldcrests in the hedges completed a cracking little session before I pedalled off home again. Not much raptor activity to report, just four kites and a sparrowhawk, though the photographer had buzzards and kestrel before I arrived.

Fair to say it's good to be back in the game :)


  1. Welcome back to the birding scene :) and i wont make a joke about the midges, as they were also hanging around tillys arse aswell ;)

    1. Well all that farting ensured they didn't go near yours . . . :)