Wednesday, 30 December 2009


On Boxing Day I had a much better view of the flock of 'finch-like' birds (around 50 birds) and the majority seemed to be Siskins- no Redpolls identified that day.

A pair of teals are spending a fair amount of time on the reserve- I have mainly seen them on the smaller water areas away from the mere. They soon fly away once they know you are there.

On the 23rd of Decemeber whilst the snow was still around I had a couple of visits to my garden (near to the reserve) of a single Brambling. It was amongst a small group of chaffinches. So it is worth looking very closely at Chaffinches on the reserve at the moment.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Winter birds

Over the last two or three weeks I have noticed fairly large (20-50) close-knit flocks of small 'finch-like' birds moving from place to place rapidly on the reserve. Last weekend I was able to get a reasonable view of them. At least some of them (mabe all) are redpolls. Streaky body, black bib and always on the move. Some seem to keep the red forehead at this time of year too- but I wasn't close enough to tell. My guide book says that some winters we get 'invasions' of faily large numbers of redpols.

Last weekend was the first time I have seen the cock pheasant under the feeder near the hide. Maybe it is because some of the cover has died back or maybe it is desperation with all the snow hanging around. Other birds that seem to be using 'local facilities' include blue tits taking refuge in holes in the mortar in the house nearest the reserve gate. I have seen collared doves seemingly trying (and failing) to land in the middle of the mere to get a drink whilst the snow has been around. I have seen as many as 12 collared doves at a time recently clustering on the bird feeder near to the hide. I'm sure they help to empty it quickly.

Earlier in the week I saw three male bullfinches together on the feeder- it was nice to see variations in the redness/pinkness between the individuals- maybe age related?

I'm hoping to have regular visits to the hide over the Christmas break.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Distant views

of birds from distant places

A flock of 20 or so redwing popped up today.
They come from Scandinavia to the U.K. every year, often with fieldfare present.
Redwing are timid, fieldfare can be more tolerant if you are careful in your approach.

A slightly improved, but still distant view of a redwing.

Another distant view -this blackcap should have gone to Europe somewhere, but has remained here, so far.
Several birders have, unusually for the time of year, seen blackcaps at garden feeders.
Usually, blackcap sightings are a sign of spring.

Still here, the two little grebes, catching fish with every dive.