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|Tuesday 29th March 2005, 16:17||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Doncaster, UK
My Outback 2005 / 07
Well, just like last year, you go away for a week and spring happens while you are gone!
In my last outback report, I counted 64 Redwing, today (actually 15 days later) and the first Chiffchaffs are here.
I managed to fit a walk in today, as I am close to the end of my "holiday year" and have a day left.
I was going to take the 'scope and camera, but in the end I decided I didn't need the hassle. So just me, my binocs, a notebook, and some relaxing birding... well as relaxing as it can be with a bit of a stiff back. I did some gardening yesterday, and I'm not cut out hard work!
Anyhew... back to today's walk.
In the circumstances, I took the chance to explore some of the more remote reaches of my patch, rather than stick to my normal route.
The Skylarks were singing, as I made my way to the pond.
Shortly before I set off, I noticed 15 geese flying over, some of which seemed to cut away.
On arriving at the pond, there were four Greylags on the "quiet side". These were in addition to the usual selection of wildfowl, and for once I was treated to an actual sighting of the Little Grebe.
There was a good deal of birdsong in the air, Skylarks of course, but also the woodland chorus, and Yellowhammers and Green Woodpeckers overlaid on the background.
And there it was... the Chiffchaff! Even managed to track one of the little fellas down.
I also caught sight of a Reed Bunting, and some Meadow Pipits were moving in on to the same real estate as the Skylarks.
20 species already, and I was only just past the pond.
As I mentioned, I took a longer route than normal, which allowed me to build up bigger numbers of each species that is sometimes the case, as well as bringing in some sightings I wouldn't otherwise have made.
Half a dozen Lapwings in one of the side fields, and three Curlews over the main road. A couple of Buzzards were circling high in the overcast sky. I probably would have seen those eventually, but I picked the up right in the far corner, so to speak.
A small detour down a side path through some trees, and there I added a patch lifer, with 6 Tree Sparrows flitting about - there may have been a couple more, but they wouldn't keep still!
Back to my normal route now, past the hotel, and I could hear an unusual, but vaguely familiar, and rather loud call.
Let me explain.
More than a year ago, I met another birder (and a former boss of mine) quite by chance while he was birding on my patch. The reason he was there, was he had information that Woodlarks were in the area.
Based on the this advice, and an example from him of what to look for in characteristcs and what to listen for in the call, I tried to familiarise myself with the call using my cds.
From then until now, I havenever (knowingly) come across Woodlark, but when I checked the call against the cds today... well... I'm fairly convinced.
Unfortunately, I'm not quite brave enough to say for definite, and I never saw the bird in question... so... not this time.
A little futher on, I was passed by a lady who asked if I was birdwatching. When I said I was, she told me there was what she thought was an Eagle Owl on the roof of one of the buidings nearby.
I couldn't resist an investigation.
Of course we all know that Eagle Owls don't live in the UK... but then we all know that they do! Especially round here.
Let's face it, every Owl Sanctuary has at least one of these guys, and it's not too difficult to believe they get out one in a while.
Well, I didn't see it on the building in question... but I'll tell you what... I'm pretty sure I heard it! Bu-u-u-t as Eagle Owls don't count (yet) I don't feel like I've missed out.
This third detour did result in me catching sight of a few Partridges, which therefore become part of a total of 39 species.
Which is new patch record!
Plain text = Outback day tick
Bold text = Outback year tick
Bold text italic = Outback life tick
(Number in brackets is highest number of individuals identified at one time)
Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) : 4 (4)
Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) : 4 (3)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) : 2 (2)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser) : 4 (4)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) : 12 (7)
Greater Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) : 1 (1)
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) : 5 (1)
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) : 38 (14)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) : 2 (1)
Coot (Fulica atra) : 7 (4)
Curlew (Numenius arquata) : 3 (3)
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) : 7 (6)
Buzzard (Buteo buteo) : 2 (2)
Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) : 3 (2)
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) : 1 (1)
Jay (Garrulus glandarius) : 1 (1)
Magpie (Pica pica) : 6 (2)
Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) : 22 (11)
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) : 5 (2)
Blackbird (Turdus merula) : 10 (2)
Robin (Erithacus rubecula) : 8 (1)
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) : 6 (6)
Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) : 3 (1)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) : 8 (2)
Coal Tit (Parus ater) : 1 (1)
Great Tit (Parus major) : 15 (2)
Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) : 17 (3)
Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) : 3 (2)
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) : 2 (1)
Skylark (Alauda arvensis) : 17 (4)
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) : 6 (6)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba) : 4 (3)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) : 8 (2)
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) : 1 (1)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) : 11 (3)
Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) : 3 (2)
Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) : 2 (2)
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) : 8 (4)
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) : 1 (1)
|Tuesday 29th March 2005, 17:58||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Well another great read Birdman, and a cracking list to boot. Chiffchaff lucky person! they are late this year on my patch! & still waiting. Good to see your out and about.
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