Saturday, 1 January 2011

Looks like its going to be a good year...

Red House Farm does it again.

Today started with my sister and I meeting SW at the back track, heading to Holywell. There wasn't a great deal of life on the walk to the pond, apart from 13 Curlew at the Brierdene Farm and 300+ mixed flock of Pink-Footed and Greylag Geese feeding in the fields adjacent to Crow Hall Farm.

The pond itself is thawing although still fully frozen, therefore there is still a ghostly lack of wildfowl, thankfully the feeding station is still busy. A dapper male Brambling and a female were showing well, 12+ Greenfinch, 8+Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, 3 Pheasant, 1 Mistle Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Dunnock, Robin and 5 Moorhen. A male Kestrel was sitting on the Obelisk, 1 Common Buzzard flew the length of the North Wood (East to West), a Nuthatch could be heard calling and 8 Carrion Crows were savaging on the ice. As we walked past the public hide a large flock of 30+ Greenfinch was a pleasant sight.

As we walked back I reminded SW about the Tree Sparrows at RHF, this was our next stop. As we entered the estate we picked up a couple of Siskins in some young Alders, a first for the patch. The 30 Mallard on the pond has now dropped to 13 and a large number of passerines were in the adjacent hedge, mainly Chaffinch although Great Tit and Blue Tit were also present. At first the Tree Sparrows were not to be found, then I heard one, then saw one, in the end 14 birds were present, although it was very difficult to gain views, before they skulked into the Hawthorn. As we tried to get some better views I heard a trill, for the second time I didn't believe my ears, I immediately stopped and listened again, another trill, and another, then 9 Waxwings flew overhead, another first for the patch and a lifer for both SW and my sister, only a shame we couldn't relocate them.

Just shows you, the smallest patch can still throw in surprises.