Saturday, 17 December 2016

Birds of fog and mist...


With thick fog all day yesterday in our neck of the woods there was nothing to report!

Today the fog yielded to mist and then with occasional clearer periods so that observers did stand a chance of seeing something...

Eleanor saw two Waxwings at Staverton today, two birds showing well on conifers and on view from 11.30am to noon when they were flushed by some nearby shooting. These birds were in the exact same place as birds seen on 19th November and were equally vocal. Four noisy Ravens were also present.

A pair of Stonechat were again below Hanging Houghton village and Ravensthorpe Reservoir this afternoon provided views of two active Otters, three Great White Egrets, a small flock of Crossbills (two seen but more heard) around the causeway and two Kingfishers.

Dave Francis was ringing at Pitsford Reservoir this morning and caught 105 birds of nineteen species which is an excellent variety and total. These birds were made up of 19 Yellowhammers, 16 Greenfinches, 11 Blue Tits, 8 Reed Buntings, 7 Dunnocks, 7 Moorhens, 6 Chaffinches, 5 Tree Sparrows, 5 Robins, 5 Great Tits, 4 Blackbirds, 3 Goldfinches, 2 Marsh Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Wren, a Goldcrest, a Starling, a Green Woodpecker and a Pied Wagtail. Hopefully this number of Yellowhammers signals the start of the winter build-up of these birds reliant on the broadcast seed at Pitsford Reservoir; it is estimated that as many as 500 birds were coming to the food in the early months of 2016.

Another ringing session took place today at Glyn Davies Wood over in the west of the county under the leadership of Helen Franklin and this provided some 130 captures. More than two thirds were new birds with tits dominating, and fifty new Blue Tits suggests that this species in the west of the county enjoyed a better breeding season than those further east. Other highlights included three Marsh Tits, a new Willow Tit, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, six Goldcrests and four Redwings. Other birds noted in this small area of relict woodland included a Woodcock, up to a dozen Siskins and a redpoll sp.

A visit to nearby Boddington Reservoir late afternoon concentrated on checking through the large gull roost there and birds of note were an adult Caspian Gull, a drake Goosander and a Grey Wagtail.

Eric Graham visited Titchmarsh Reserve at Thrapston this morning and was pleased to note a fly-over Raven, still a scarce bird in this part of the county.


Neil M




Willow Tit

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