Saturday, December 22, 2018

Another rubbish day on the patch

The patch has been, comparatively speaking, rubbish this year. The pond at the heart of the patch is overgrown and has no standing water despite recent rains, and location means that it doesn't get much in the way of vagrants, so I set off this morning with low expectations.

A flurry of tits and a couple of Goldcrests at the bottom of the drive, then round the corner and up to Nursery Wood at the NE corner of Pishiobury Park. A brief stop saw a Nuthatch and a family party of Bullfinches, and another Goldcrest.

Not much then until the three-bridges area. Capability Brown designed Pishiobury Park to have a serpentine lake below the park toward the river. This area is no longer a lake but is private farm-land. When there is heavy rain water flows over the west and fills the still-present depression. Viewing is hard in winter as it is through a hedge, and impossible in summer. Today I managed to see Teal, Gadwall, and male Wigeon. The Gadwall numbered about 5 and the Wigeon and Teal were recorded in single but may have been more.

Down to Feakes Lock - 2 Cormorant in the Cormorant Tree, 13 Redwing over, then round the Loop field - more Bullfinches, Yellowhammer over, 70 mixed Common Gull and Black-headed Gull in a field, Kestrel, more Goldcrest, then back to the three bridges for a second look at the wildfowl. A flurry of birds with 2 Ring-Necked Parakeets calling loudly and flying around, Stock Dove, and a look around revealed the cause of the excitement - a male Sparrowhawk slowly causing over the field. 2 Siskin over and 4 Jays , and it was off home, stopping by the willows by the navigation for a small flock of tits including a Treecreeper, back to Nursery Wood where there were now 2 Nuthatches, then Bullfinch again and excitingly 2 House Sparrow - always noteworthy on the patch as they are not an everyday occurrence.

So not Minsmere, but some nice stuff and a few local notables courtesy of the flooded field.

Commonly Spotted Orchids

We are fortunate in the UK in that the commonest orchids are also amongst the most beautiful. I spent a morning photographing some on the lo...