Sunday, 18 February 2018

Kites & finches

Red Kite over head
Red Kite chasing off the corvids
Little Grebe 
Fallow Deer
Main Pit island ready for spring
Yellowhammer in great voice
View of main pit from orchards
More Yellowhammers

Two patch visits this week as I managed to drop in on the way home from Evesham after picking up my international driving licence for an upcoming trip. On arrival I found Mike Inskip by Pophills & then found Chris Lane walking towards me on the lane down from Dunnington.

Before I reached the pits I found our returning pair of Red Kites to the east of pits. I quickly jumped out the car to watch the birds closely above me. With Red Kites duly added to the patch year list we added another on the main pit where a female Goosander was resting on the Oystercatcher island. The rest of the wildfowl numbers were very quiet. 

I then headed up to the orchards with Chris where there were still good numbers of Fieldfare & a handful of Fallow Deer before us on the path. Chris had seen a Brambling an hour before but as the light faded we had to be happy with an excellent flock of Chaffinches. 

It was a foggy start on Sunday but thankfully it burnt off quickly making it quite a reasonable morning. I met up with Jon as planned before we started our circuit. In the area where the main bund stood a flash has developed which seems to be attracting the Lapwing and our Green Sandpiper. This area may be profitable come the spring if the water level is maintained. A single drake Wigeon was joined by another good flock of teal on Pophills. Over at the main pit highlights included 3 Shelduck, 3 Pochard (1 extra on central lagoon), 25 Lapwing and an Oystercatcher.

Jon headed to check the southern end of the pits whilst I headed up the orchard to find the finch flock. A Kestrel kindly flushed their position feeding on the rough crop so I set up my scope and started working my way through the flock. The Yellowhammers & Reed Buntings were both singing which is always a pleasure. The flocks approximate numbers were 250 Chaffinch, 20 Reed Bunting, 40 Yellowhammer, 30 Linnet, 5 Greenfinch and a pair of Bramblings. 

Other sightings included 7 Little Grebe, 7 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, pair of Mute Swan, 310 Greylag, 28 Canada Geese, 13 Gadwall, 115 Teal, 310 Mallard, 21 Shoveler, 87 Tufted Duck, 6 Moorhen, 104 Coot, a Snipe, Sparrowhawk, 40 Black-headed Gulls,2 Buzzard, Great Spotted & Green Woodpecker, Grey & Pied Wagtail, 4 singing Song Thrushes, a Mistle Thrush and a pair of Raven.

We also recorded 4 Fallow deer, 8 Roe Deer & 4 Brown Hare. 

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