Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow But No Snow!

First of all - let's get it out the way. Yesterday afternoon I dipped the Goosander. For the umpteenth time.

Today we were promised a white-out.  Well we did have snow showers, some very heavy...

From the farm gate early this morning

...but Seaton and the river valley remained green.  There was snow all around us though.  This was the view from Colyford Marsh hide mid morning...

Musbury Castle in the back ground

More impressive than the above snowy view was the number of Golden Plovers.  From the hide I could see c300, and a little later on Ian M counted 600 from Bridge Marsh gate way.  Amazing!  Weirdly though there seemed to be fewer Lapwings about today, and I'm surprised we haven't had any Ruff yet. A flock of 40+ Skylark were flying around the marsh today, which is unusual.

Best of all though were the two year ticks I clocked up from this visit.  Four Stock Dove were rather unexciting year ticks, but a stunning pair of Pintail were VERY exciting!  This species is pretty much annual on patch, but you could easily go a year without seeing one.  I did try and take a photo of them, they showed best during a heavy snow shower...

Another great addition to my photography year list!

I did get much better views of them later, when they were showing on the Estuary.  Much much closer...

What a stunner!!!

I'll be on patch all of tomorrow, but will not be birding. I will though be able to twitch, so local birders please bear me in mind :-)

Now - and last of all.  I want to point you all to a new page I've created on this Blog...

The 2013 Patch Year List Competition

At the top of this page (the bottom of the red bit) click on '2013 Patch Year List'. Or you can just click HERE. This a page dedicated to my patch year list (and will include a regulary updated patch year list as from 1st February), but for now, please join in for a bit of fun and place your bets at what you think my final tally will be. I'll repeat the rule though that a number can only be chosen once.

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