Sunday, 30 December 2012

Splitting forces!


Splitting forces is always dangerous in our household as Eleanor always sees more than me!

Today Eleanor stayed local and ran around the south side of Pitsford Res, seeing c20 redpoll sp as she did so.  There was subsequently a Brambling at the feeding station on the old Scaldwell Road.

There were 2 Ravens in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton and at 3.30pm 4 Waxwings were perched on the television aerial of our house at Hanging Houghton!  The Great White Egret and 4 Little Egrets were again on the floodwater near Holcot village as viewable from the Walgrave and Hannington roads at about 1pm, and at 3.40pm there were 6 Bramblings on the seed at Harrington Airfield.

In the meantime Neil Hasdell and myself decided to go north for a further change of scenery.  We started at East Carlton Country Park which hosted a pleasant walk but little in the way of birds.  The escaped South American teal sp was still present on the ponds there but otherwise it was just the usual resident woodland birds which included Nuthatch and Marsh Tit.

We then drove slowly north along the Welland Valley which not surprisingly was flooded along most of its course.  Pockets of Lapwings, common wildfowl and gulls were encountered plus a single Little Egret near Harringworth.

A walk then along a footpath that extends from the valley up on to the plateau of Harringworth Airfield.  There is some interesting habitat where the old airfield meets the back of Wakerley Wood and it was here where our best bird of the day was pushed out of a bush by Bazra (our Border Collie) in the shape of a Hawfinch.  This bird was probably initially on the ground beneath Blackthorn and Hawthorn bushes at about SP948975.  A Waxwing was heard calling here but not seen and other birds included a couple of Lesser Redpolls, 3 Siskins and a male Stonechat.

After a bite to eat in the car park at Wakerley Wood, we moved on to Fineshade which was busy with people.  A few Siskins and a Lesser Redpoll were noted and common birds were coming to the feeders in front of the wildlife hide.

Our last main venue for the day was Batherwycke Lake which contained plenty of wildfowl but surprisingly no evident Mandarin Ducks.  Birds of note included 2 Shelduck and 2 'redhead' Goosanders.

Scanning over Harrington Airfield just before dusk failed to locate the regular Merlin perhaps coming in to roost -  the only raptor noted was a Sparrowhawk or two!


Neil M

Common Buzzard-
moulting inner primaries


Sorry can't resist the
Red Kites!

Coal Tit

The villain
of bird feeders!

Marsh Tit at
Fineshade.  Note
the silver mark
on upper mandible
which is hard to
see in the field but
easier to appreciate
with digital photography
and helps distinguish
it from the Willow Tit

Bazra - the finder of our
best bird!

Herring and Great Black-
backed Gulls over
Blatherwycke Lake
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