23 February 2013

Late winter at the patch

A dawn visit to the moor this morning failed to find any Goosander on the Colne (there's been at least 3 birds frequenting but I've not managed to connect with any this winter). 2-4 Water Pipit, 1 Water Rail (beneath the willows south of the northern footbridge), 1 Grey Wagtail, 5 Mute Swan, 2 Little Grebe, 6 Mallard and 43 Black-headed Gull (several with partial hoods and 1 with a full hood) were along the Colne. Overhead; 1 Red Kite flew low west, a Mistle Thrush flew off high east, 2 Canada Geese north (scarce here nowadays) and 2 Stock Dove north. 10 Common Snipe were on the flashes and 2 Fieldfare, 10 Song Thrush, 2 Blackbird, 1 Reed Bunting, 5 Skylark, 1m Pheasant and 1+ Grey Heron were also noted. No sign of any Short-eared Owls despite a thorough search.

Red Kite

Red Kite

One of today's Black-headed Gulls. Full hood but still moulting the inner primaries.

Black-headed Gulls often feed on the Colne. Someday there's going to be a
Med Gull here.

Common Snipe tracks in mud along the Colne

On Stanwell Moor, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 9 Blackbird, 2 Mallard, 3 Common Teal and 3 Coot were noted. Overhead 3 Skylark and c.6 Meadow Pipit flew towards King George VI Reservoir. Spent some time looking for the Bittern. Did I see it? Did I f...

On the journey home, 1 Common Buzzard was seen perched on a lamp post along the M25 just north of the A30 junction.

Weather: Cloudy in morning (8 oktas) brightening slightly early afternoon (7 oktas), cold light NE wind, frequent light snow flurries.

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