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Garden Patch, Caergwrle. (1 Viewer)

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Lots of Bullfinch activity recently. They seem pretty keen on the sunflower hearts in the feeder, and on Monday last week I had a record count of 7 (4 males and 3 females) at one time.

Past couple of days have been pretty good. Had a beaut of a Curlew over on Sunday morning, heading east, really low and almost right overhead. Then later in the morning a distant Cormorant headed south, and closer to 4 Mute swans and the a single Lapwing headed upstream. Then yesterday a Snipe was up, heading towards the castle (which it disappeared behind), my third wader species in two days!

Also plenty of Redwing hanging around, feasting on the berries that were supposed to be for the Waxwings when they finally turn up. At this rate there'll be none left, greedy beggars. Hopefully they'll redeem themselves over Christmas when they're found to be chaperoning a Dusky Thrush (hell, Black-throated would do), but for now they just seem to be costing me my hoped for Waxwings! Troublesome beasts!

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Two new feeder species yesterday, not on the feeders themselves but taking advantage of fallen food on the ground beneath; Pied Wagtail & Moorhen.

Presumably the same four Mute Swans as on Tuesday went by again yesterday, as did a group of half a dozen Cormorants.

Other than that a quiet Christmas, and unless we have a late surprise on Wednesday it looks like this year's final total will be a wholly creditable (indeed record braking) 76. Bring on 2011!

Happy new year everyone!

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Other than that a quiet Christmas, and unless we have a late surprise on Wednesday it looks like this year's final total will be a wholly creditable (indeed record braking) 76. Bring on 2011!

Happy new year everyone!

James

No surprises yesterday, the last notable birds of 2010 being a flock of twenty some Siskin flying by, the first for a while (they did their usual disappearing act shortly after numbers built up back in the first half of November), and a pair of Goosander motoring upstream mid morning, remarkably just the second record this year!

Start again on Saturday. Ho hum.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Thirty three on Sunday, with highlights being three Goosander (male & two redheads)heading downstream in the morning (how the hell did I make it to October last year without seeing one of these?) and a lot of Cormorant toing and froing. Plenty of Bullfinch activity at the feeders, with the Moorhen back underneath them. Buzzard and Pied Wagtail joined the party yesterday.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Afternoon off yesterday. Other things to do but managed Jay (in an Ash Tree opposite front garden) and a few Fieldfares over. 37.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Recent round-up

Been off line for a week, so here's a wee catch-up.

10th
Record Bullfinch count at the feeders: 4 males and 5 females.

14th
Goosander upstream in the afternoon, fly-by Sparrowhawk (38), half a dozen Redwings (39) dropping into roost.

15th
Singing Song Thrush (40), Raven (41) over, and Goosander upstream again.

16th
Mistle Thrush (42), Grey Wagatil (43) & Rook (44) over.

17th
Female Brambling (45) loitering in Willows near the feeders for a couple of minutes in the morning; second record, very excited (me, not the Brambling). Drake Goosander upstream mid morning, and a flock of eight followed later. Can't believe I didn't get any till October last year, that's five records so far in 2011! (Similar thing happened with Cormorants in 2007; none until October, and in avert other year there've been records off and on all year, plenty so far this year.)

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Ha! Waxwings! Not from the garden though. There were 42 bombing round the gardens behind Archie's school yesterday morning when I went to pick him up, occasionally visiting a rowan tree round the front before being chased off by a couple of Mistle Thrushes. Trouble is I can't quite see them from the house. If they were to move a hundred yards or so along the road then no problem, but so far no joy. Will keep on trying though.

I've heard that Pheasant calling again a few times over the weekend, and Goosander and Cormorant remain frequent.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Ok, let's back track a bit here. I got so excited about Waxwings that I didn't see from the garden that i never got around to updating what I had seen over the weekend!

29th
Thirty or so Pink-footed Geese (47) heading north around lunchtime, a Redwing (48) and four Greenfinches (49) over and a Dipper (50) singing down on the river.

30th
A Merlin (51, and only the 3rd record) went through heading roughly south east at around 07:45, plenty of Goosander & Cormorant traffic up and down the river and a couple of Meadow Pipits (52) north later in the morning.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
I was watching the parade of Tits (must have been over twenty, with Bues slightly outnumbering Greats) coming to the feeders yeatserday lunchtime when i spied a movement on the Willow trunk beyond... and treecreeper joins the yearlist! Crazy how hard they are from the garden when I see them with relative frequency down along the river. This one gave prolonged views as it spiralled up the tree.
I also scanned the distant street in Hope (certainly not in too much expectation given the strong winds ) for the Waxwing flock, but no sign. I noted that the Rowan tree that they'd been feeding in on Monday was now stripped, so they may have moved on.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Quick update.

11th
Kingfisher (55) mid afternoon.

12th
Goldcrest (56) feeding in Ivy on Sycamore, drake Goosander and Raven over.

13th
19 Greylags (57) upstream at 13:05 (record count), and Siskins have started to visist the feeders (only very occasional visists in the past, at least 2.2 for much of the afternoon today).

14th
Pheasant calling again, and the female Brambling was back, again briefly. Still several Siskins visisting the feeders

15th
43 species recorded. Brambling feeding on fallen seed beneath feeders off and on all morning (but no sign since), and Dipper singing on the river (giving quite good views, perched on a branch sticking out of some debris caught mid stream).

16th
24 Greylag geese north in the distance at 15:45, record count.

19th
Brief flight views of Pheasant, looking through trees to large garden on the opposte side of the river! Pair of Goosander over.

20th
Pair of Goosander again. Many Siskins visiting the feeders by now!

23rd
Distant Lapwing (58) heading west at 08:40, witha trio then high over north at 16:45.

That's it for now.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Curlew north on the afternoon of 26th (59), and still Goosanders toing and froing. Also the Pheasant has been calling again, making it a Garden March tick.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
At least two Chiffchaffs (60) in the trees along the river behind the house on 13th, my earliest by two days. Unusually I found them foraging and flycatching before hearing them sing. Otherwise quiet, but feeling very springlike with lots of bugs emerging; gnats mostly, but at least one bumble bee and a butterfly.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
So good to have a bit more daylight to play with at the end of the day. Shelduck (61) yesterday evening heading high inland at 17:40.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Earliest garden Sand Martins (62) on Saturday, by 16 days! A single bird headed nortjh mid morning, with another following it a couple of hours later. Also that day a female Blackcap (63) was new for the year. They were the best of a 40 species haul that also included Goosander, and heard only Pheasant, Kingfisher & Dipper. Then on Sunday there was a Green Woodpecker (64) calling in the distance and a Lesser Redpoll (65) flew over calling. I mused at the time how nice it would be to get one pinned down for a change rather than just flying over, and a short while later one visited the feeders (feeder tick!) but unfortunately got spooked by a Woodpigeon beneath it have a flap and did not reappear for the rest of the day. A single fly-by Greylag was honking away this morning as I headed down to the car to get to work.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Fairly quiet start to April, starting with a couple more Sand Martins on the morning of 1st. On parking up when I got home from work on 7th I noticed a Phyllosc foraging through the Willows through the windscreen, and so was able to year tick Willow Warbler without even taking my seat belt off! Meanwhile I was seeing Swallows everywhere, on the way to work, at work, at my parents' house, in the village, but nary a one from the garden, dammit, until I finally nailed a couple going by in the distance on 9th, on which day there was also a handful of Meadow Pipits on the move and my first Peregrine since February, a male, heading off east overhead a little after eight in the evening.

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
The male Peregrine put in a couple of appearances over the weekend, on both occasions fairly low over the house in beautiful light, looked superb. Also, finally got House Martin for the year, a couple were around on Sunday (24th). The previous four years I've been here in Caergwrle my arrival dates have all been between 8th & 12th April, so I was getting a little fed up with waiting!

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Lapwing over on May 2nd was a good record, first Swifts, two (69) on 3rd, Sand Martin (been a good spring for those so far) on 8th and first Hobby (70) low through on 12th (a typical return date here).

James
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
June & July really are pants for garden listing. I've been trying to do 12 consecutive months of over 50, and with just three to go I go and hit bloody June; 49, and that was a push to get. Damn. Reset the clock then and off we go, although since arriving here I've yet to have a July outdo a June in the same year, but I'll give it a go; 33 so far.
Actual garden watching can still be fun mid-year, with the Swifts screaming about, occasional Hobbies putting in appearances and various young birds being fed (including the House Sparrows that have fledged from the nest in the wee gap by our TV aerial for the fifth year now). Best of all a third record of Spotted Flycatcher, close by where the other two were, but in the Alder this time, rather than the Willow, and somewhat brief views. At least that brings me level with my worst year list to date; that's a record I'd just as soon not brake.

James
 
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