Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Few More Year Ticks

Didn't have much time out and about yesterday, but this morning I spent three hours in the field.

Yesterday started with me looking for a Goosander which was found on Monday just after I went to work.  There was sadly no sign, so I headed off to the sea front...
 
Another sunrinse photo
Gav was already in place just to the east of me at the yacht club, but neither of us could pull anything good out the bag. Three Red-throated Divers on sea, with a fourth west, was the best I could manage.

I drove back home via the Estuary, and was pleased to locate a single Golden Plover from the Bridge Marsh gateway with Lapwings. Always a bit of a worry for the year lister these cold weather-related species, but thankfully this cold weather does seem to be doing something.  Even thought it isn't all that cold here. Arctic weather my a***!

Today started how yesterday did. Annoyingly the Goosander returned yesterday afternoon, again just after I got to work!  There was no sign of it this morning, but from the farm gate it was nice to see six Shoveler floating up river - our first for 2013. Another cold weather-related year tick!?

A quick look at the sea showed it was too lumpy, and quiet, to stay for long. Although the Shoveler were now flying around offshore. This enabled me to add them to my photography year list...

Just about identifiable

I then devoted the next hour or so scouring the fields behind Axmouth for Red-legged Partridge.  A species that can be tricky to catch up with (if not enough have been released!).  I found some really bird-filled fields, one in particular with 140+ Skylark, 80+ Chaffinch, 10 Yellowhammer and two Golden Plover. These two Golden Plovers were a bit of a surprise, so when I stumbled upon a flock of at least 100 I was stunned!  Proper evidence of cold weather movement.

I know by writing 'at least 100' it makes it look like I didn't bother counting them, but the 100th bird was at the pinnacle of a rise in a field, and I am sure there were at least a few more on the other side of the rise.  I also managed to add this species to my photography year list...

Dead pleased with these ;-)

I had all but given up with Red-legged Partridge, but driving back into Axmouth, one last stop in a gateway revealed four feeding on the edge of cover a couple of fields away from me.  If any other local birders are interested, I saw them from the first gateway as you turn into Stepps Lane from Leggetts Lane, just west of Dowlands.

It looks as though the forecasted Snow on Friday is going to be rain for us.  Oh goodie - more rain. Just what we need...

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