Monday, 30 November 2009

Nearly December

Here comes the November report: RAIN, BRRR, WET, DARK. What little dry daylight hours there were did not reveal a great deal of birdy activity so this will be a shorter than usual report.

Highlights: 69 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Green Sandpiper, 31 Stock Dove, 1 Treecreeper, 28 Tree Sparrow. The 'creeper is not a scarcity, but this one was a year tick!

Saturday 28th November

Morning: Harpham and Lowthorpe. On the way to Harpham there were 10 Greylags over Kelk Lake, 3 Grey Partridge, 1 Cormorant south, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 8 Golden Plover, 31 Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 8 Skylark, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing. In Harpham just 12 Collared Dove and 23 House Sparrow. 2 Roe Deer were also seen, near Lingholmes.

At New Road not a great deal but still the highlight of the morning. 12 Teal, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Herring Gull south west, Grey Wagtail, 4 Goldcrest, 7 Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, and a lone Tree Sparrow. From here onward around Lowthorpe; 3 Grey Heron, Kingfisher, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Bullfinch (pair).

A comment about herons - most of the ones we see in the Kelk area are young birds, presumably these ones have to disperse further than the adults. Though adults aren't particularly scarce in the area they seem to be seen less often around Harpham and Lowthorpe. One of the birds at Lowthorpe was an adult which gave good views from the road bridge.

Kelk Lake; just 2 Mute Swan and 6 Coot. Really depressing stuff, there should be Pochard, Goldeneye and other wildfowl at this time of year. What have they done?

Afternoon: Gembling and Foston. With only a couple of hours daylight by the time I'd set off after lunch it was always going to be a tall order to see much. However, at Gembling were 69 Pink-footed Goose flying south west, 340 Greylag Goose south toward Lisset, 2 Grey Heron, and a Barn Owl.

Foston was equally quiet; 1 Pochard and 4 Coot at Brigham Quarry, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker near Cruckley. A Grey Squirrel was roadkill outside Cruckley.

Sunday 29th November

Water falling out of the sky was the theme for the day. We couldn't get out of the house until 11am and then only had two dry hours in the field for a brisk walk along Kelk Beck. Despite all this whinging we saw 11 Mute Swan (5+1 young), c90 Teal and c100 Mallard at Cattleholmes, a Cormorant, 2 Lapwing moving north, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls heading south west, a flock of 600 Woodpigeon, around 80 Blackbirds in the hedges (around half along Lynesykes), 20+ Fieldfare, 4 Redwing, 4 Mistle Thrush, 28 Tree Sparrow, 29 Linnet, 12 Yellowhammer and a Reed Bunting. Also seen were 4 Roe Deer moving arcoss toward Wansford and 10 Hare in one field in Kelk.

Half an hour before dusk without a downpour allowed for a quick scoot up to Green Lane - 200+ Common Gull on the grass fields, 1 Barn Owl and 4 Yellowhammer. And that was the end of the weekend.

Year list up one with Treecreeper, to 111 (plus the two recorded by others).

I'll throw a few dim and grainy pictures on later.

Bring on December!