Friday, 12 March 2021

Lockdown blues

The Lockdown is really starting to test me now. I haven't posted on the blog since 28th February and that's pretty much because I have nothing new to say. I've been walking the Lee Valley still and seeing the same birds. The male Grebe seems to have decided on keeping just one woman now and they are currently building another nest after the first failed attempt. Kingfishers continue to flash by but remain distant. Herons are busy feeding and offer a small distraction to the boredom of seeing the same things each day. I found a small mixed flock of Redpoll and Siskin in the park which added a little excitment.

The Short-eared Owls seem to have departed unless they are again just hiding from this awful weather we're experiencing with strong North westerlies and rain dominating.

A few winter birds are hanging on, the red-head Smew remains on seventy acre lake and a few Red-wing are still present in the park with some now singing. The pair of Stonechat have not been seen for a while so could have moved on but the Reed Buntings are now in full song as are a few Skylark. I walked all the way to the reservoirs the other day and found a pair of Goosander on the navigation channel and a Raven towards the back end by the pumping station but haven't added a year tick for what seems weeks now so following a tip off  (thanks Shaun) of a fairly local Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which seems to be on territory in a small wood close to my sons house I arranged to have our socially distanced walk there this week and it was quite rewarding. Lots of Redwing feeding in the leaf litter and singing on occasion. Green Woodpecker calling, Great-spotted Woodpecker drumming, Nuthatch and Treecreeper also present and then as I watched a male Great-spot I chanced on the female Lesser-spot in the same tree. She later flew to a dead tree and started drumming and I could hear some calling too so it seems a pair are present.

So that's it for the last two weeks that is my highlight which moved to year list on by one to 112.

I'm seeing all sorts of good migrant birds returning and a few rarer vagrants too but all far too far away to be considered local and with each one my commitment to the stay home message is tested a little further. The schools returned on 8th March and the next release of measure comes on 29th March and for that I can't wait.

Cormorant reflecting on life

Heron (I waited an hour and it didn't catch anything)

Seeing a few Kingfishers but all quite distant

I've not taken a picture of the Owls since 27th February and haven't seen them since 5th March. hopefully they have moved on and have a good journey north. 

I have a commitment to keep too this year and thats to help my brother Jim through the 400 life tick barrier and he needs five birds for that so roll on the freedom to travel and watch this space.

The red-head on Seventy acres


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