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Tales of a Botanical Birder

Posted Saturday 2nd February 2008 at 16:20 by brianfm
Updated Saturday 2nd February 2008 at 17:01 by brianfm
After yesterdays snow, winds and bitter cold day I took the chance of a local walk today 2nd Feb. It was a cold, but bright day. Very muddy in places under foot. I am still searching for the Grey Partridges!

I started in the wooded area behind the old village in the hope of finding the woodpecker but had no luck with that, however I did have really good sightings of Goldcrest. Great Tits, Blue Tits, a Wren, Robin and Dunnocks were about and of course the Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves. Carrying on to the open fields I found one field holding large numbers of Redwing which were all showing well. Numbers had increased from last week. This winter has been blessed with winter thrushes in profusion. Along with the Redwings were Mistle Thrushes, Blackbirds and a single Song Thrush. Magpies, Rooks and Jackdaws were never far away.

It didnít seem to long before the light began to fade and the bitter cold began to get through my clothing. I took the path where I had seen the Firecrest recently but today I only added more Dunnock to the day list and found another Song Thrush. The fields behind the hedge were holding many 100s of Wood Pigeon, all busily feeding. I assume these are the birds that roost in Gosforth Park just over to the west. I gave the fields some attention and whilst I didnít find the Partridges I did manage to find a Stock Dove in amongst the Wood Pigeons. A new one for the year list. A few Pheasants were wandering around behind the houses at the bottom of the field and the occasional Rabbit was seen. The rain pools were still partially frozen and by tonight I think will be frozen solid again.

As I walked back towards the old village I checked out the fields to the left and I am almost certain I heard a Partridge and also Skylark, but I am not 100% certain so wonít be counting them. There were more Robins Dunnocks, Blackbirds and Tits but little else apart from overhead gulls, mostly Black Headed Gulls. As I reached the road I noticed a female Pheasant dart of the road and into the hedging. As I walked through the park area Starlings were making some noise and the Rooks had gathered in the area of the rookery. There had been the odd Carrion Crow about too. It was good to see the Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis and an occasional Daisy Bellis perennis.

I was glad to get back and have my cup of coffee and dream of spring.

Take care
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