Sunday, 14 February 2021

Another local year tick

I haven't posted anything since 8th February but I've been out every day enjoying the fresh air, snow, ice and freezing temperatures. My local walk takes me to the top of a hill where the bitter wind really bites but it's also a place of some decent birds. I have also varied the walk a little which paid reward this week with a couple of Barn Owl although I've since returned twice to the same area and not seen any.

The cold snap has seen local numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing increase and it appears to have brought in some fresh Meadow Pipits with a flock of sixteen noted this morning. The park has a large flock of Goldfinch which feed on the the giant teasle and over the last few days I've flushed both Woodcock and Snipe with another local flushing a Jack Snipe a couple of days back too. The pair of Stonechat also remain on site.

Meadow Pipit


Vole with a Short-eared Owl (messed up the exposure in my excitement)

Short-eared Owl

Snow on the face

Sitting out a snow storm

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

SEO escorting the local Red Kite off the patch

A little territory dispute

Setting boundaries

I've seen  Barn Owl, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Red Kite and Short-eared Owls in the last few days and have enjoyed each one but particularly enjoyed the Owl escorting the Red Kite off the patch.

For the record the virus seems to be on the back foot again following weeks and months of Tiers and Lockdowns. We have family in Oregon that have now tested positive for Covid so our thoughts and prayers are with them as they battle through the infection but closer to home we continue to pray for the numbers to be low enough to allow us to travel again. Among the life ticks I've missed through lockdown now are the Sociable Plover in Cornwall and the Northern Mockingbird in Devon and of course the Kent Sparrow although I'm not sure this was ever twitchable. This week also saw a strange report of an adult Bearded Vulture in Norfolk.

For now I continue to keep my birding as local as I can but would dearly love a trip to the coast as soon as possible.

year list now 107

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