Thursday, 29 January 2015

If birds begin to sing in January, frosts will come.

"The Snow-drop, Winter's timid child,
Awakes to life, bedew'd with tears."
-  Mary Robinson


Falling Snow

"See the pretty snowflakes
Falling from the sky;
On the wall and housetops
Soft and thick they lie.

On the window ledges,
On the branches bare;
Now how fast they gather,
Filling all the air.

Look into the garden,
Where the grass was green;
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen."

-  Author Unknown,

"The birds are gone, The ground is white,
The winds are wild, They chill and bite;
The ground is thick with slush and sleet,
And I barely feel my feet."

Winter Poems

 "The twelve months...
Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,
Showery, Flowery, Bowery,
Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy,
Breeze, Sneezy, Freezy."

-  George Ellis 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Here , there and not quite everywhere!

24th January

I was glad I had ventured out for a walk on what was a cold and frosty morning! Whittington was the area I was walking in and I was well pleased to see my first sighting of the year of a Stonechat! Raven, Mistle Thrush, Skylark, Common Buzzard and a busy little Wren were also highlights on an enjoyable walk.

25th January
 A mooch around Churchill, Brake Mill Pools and Brake Lane in the afternoon did not yield many bird species. Scanning a sheep field a Common Buzzard perched on a fence taking in the sunshine was good to spot. Two male Goosanders seen on a quick visit to Brake Mill Pools. A walk along Brake Lane was enjoyable with several good views of a Common Buzzard that alas was being harassed at times by Carrion Crows, I really feel for these birds of prey! Kestrel, Mistle and Song Thrush,  a charm of Goldfinch, Starlings,  plus a few Fieldfare were other notable sightings.

The light was fading fast when the Kestrel was sighted.

Big Garden Birdwatch
Fortunately the weather played ball and the birds arrived in there hundreds...well not quite.;-)
Blackbird x6, Magpie x 2, Woodpigeon x 14, Dunnock x 5, Carrion Crow x  2, Robin x 1, Jackdaw x 1, Blue Tit x 2. Better than the previous few years have been.
A male Blackcap was in my garden this morning, why didn't it put in an appearance yesterday!!


Friday, 23 January 2015

Just as I arrived at......

........Brake Mill Pool the rain started! The temperature has hardly risen today, roll on Spring!
On the water were the usual suspects along with a pleasing sight of  Little Grebe x1, 5 male and 4 Tufted Ducks, no doubt they will be off to pastures new by the time I next visit. A lone Drake Goosander bathed at the far end of the pool. Buzzards x 2 and 5+ Pied Wagtails were in a sheep field alongside the railway track.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Caunsall Canal Walk and Mary Stevens Park.

18th January.

Caunsall Canal Walk

A depressing start to the walk was seeing a dozen or more tyres that had been dumped by the small car park area. A pity the fly-tippers had not been caught on camera!
Highlight birds were the odd Robin singing and eventually being spotted, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and a small flock of redwings.

20th January

Mary Stevens Park
Gulls, Mallards, Geese, Coots, Moorhens and Muscovy Ducks were on the alert for anyone walking by with a hand out of food! The lake was partly frozen. 
Something a little different from the norm.
Walking on thin ice!

Having a splashing time!


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A singing Storm Cock!

13th January.

A longer walk than of late around Brake Mill Pools was very pleasant in the sunshine though by the time I had finished my walk the rain clouds were gathering. Highlight species seen in no particular order were Mistle and Song Thrush, Wren, Redwing (6+), Treecreeper, Jay, Common Buzzard, Little Grebe x2, Goosander (1m +2f ) plus the usual Robins, Tits, Gulls and Corvids  etc  etc!

I can't help but feel that my photo's would have been wonderful if the sun had kept shining.;-)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Notes and pics from the 2nd, 4th and 6th January sightings!

2nd January

A visit to RSPB Sandwell Valley was in all honesty a let down. For starters the main gate was locked which wasn't a problem as we parked on the road instead of the relative safety of the reserve, then reaching the path to the hide found the gates locked so no hide viewing today! A disappointment as I would have thought arrangements could have been made to open the reserve fully to accommodate folk over the Festive Season. I shall email RSPB Sandwell and the RSPB Headquarters and tell them of my disappointment and disgust at the closure of the hide. I spoke to several birders who like me were surprised to see the 'Lock Out'!
However it was good to see that the feeder by the new Visitor Centre building works had been replenished and that Blue, Great and Marsh Tit were frequent visitors to the feeder along with at least 4 male Bullfinch and almost as many females at times!

4th January                                                                                                                                          
Two fairly regular visitors to my garden the last few weeks have been a Grey Heron and the more regular visitor of the two being a splendid looking Fox!
The Heron keeps trying to spot a way to get to the fish in the pond, I am winning that battle!
The Fox, which I believe is a Vixen, is such a delight to see in my garden. On Sunday the Fox hung around for 10-15minutes in the garden, this being the longest duration I have watched it, I expect the sharp frost and freezing fog had given it an appetite. The Fox has some ailment to it's back left leg. It almost looks as though it has lost a foot on that leg and very often holds the leg up when stood still but uses it ok when walking. It is not in any distress and looks very healthy. It is more wary of the Magpies than the Magpies are of the Fox.

It's behind you!! ;-)


6th January

Sunshine today so an afternoon visit to Brake Mill Pools  was enjoyed. No Goosanders here today, on a quick visit on Sunday I saw 7 female and 3 males! Two pairs of Tufted Ducks today compared to a lone male on Sunday was good to see.

I spoke to a gentleman who was sporting binoculars, I usually only see dog walkers, cyclists and joggers here, he told me he had just seen a Water Rail at the far end of the pool! I lingered on my return to the pool but no luck, however I will keep checking now that I know one has been sighted.
I placed bird seed on several posts and was delighted to see this smart looking Robin enjoying the spoils.

The vegetation reflections in the water looked splendid in the sunshine, with the Ducks being an added bonus in the pics!


Thursday, 1 January 2015

First bird sighting of 2015!

My first bird sighting of 2015 and the accolade goes to....a Robin and a Dunnock! They were almost side by side on my lawn this morning and just visible as it was a very overcast start to the day. A Blackbird took 2nd place and a Magpie 3rd place! My last bird sighting of 2014 was a Woodpigeon!