Wednesday, 13 February 2013

From the house (13/02/13) ...

Today (13/02) I awoke to a fairly wintery scene with everything covered in the white stuff and it was still falling. It didn't last for long however and turned to rain and sleet on and off which lasted for the rest of the day. One good thing about this kind of weather is that it drives many birds into the garden for food. I went outside and put out extra food and sat back to see what would take advantage. I think I had the whole range of birds I usually see in the garden show up at least once over the next hour.

I am very lucky where I live as althought I only have a small garden and live in a housing estate it backs on to some good countryside for birds. Half a mile away is the Conon River with it's riparian woodland and not a mile East is the start of the Cromarty Firth mixed in with plenty of farmland, scrub and scattered woodland which allows me to see a range of birds from my window.

Some of the highlights over the next hour included 2 sightings of a Sparrowhawk, one in a mid air battle with a Carrion Crow and one (not sure if it was the same bird) during a failed attack on the birds in the garden. I also saw Red Kite flying over several times and a Buzzard feeding on something in the field across the road. I also enjoyed up to 12 Goldfinch and 5 Siskin at a time enjoying the niger seed in two different feeders. A flock of 14 Long-tailed Tits also came and went several times. There were hundreds of Wood and Feral Pigeons in a far away field and also a large flock of small birds that were too far away to identify. The highlight of the hour was a flock of c30 Fieldfare which landed close enough in a tree across the road for me to identify. They flew from a Northerly direction stayed for around 5 minutes and departed heading East into the heart of the Black Isle. It was also a new species for the year. Towards the end of the hour the male Pheasant was back. He hung around outside the garden for awhile before hopping over the fence to feed on the mixed seed and this time I managed to get a coupel of pictures through the window.

For the rest of the day I kept an eye on the garden now and again and it's great to watch even on a miserable day and I managed 26 species without leaving the house!

Year List Additions:
72. Fieldfare
73. Feral Pigeon

Species Seen:
Long-Tailed Tit
Blue Tit
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Common Gull
Black-headed Gull
Herring Gull
Collared Dove
Wood Pigeon
Feral Pigeon
Red Kite
Carrion Crow

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