Thursday, 19 March 2015

Bird of Prey - The Doors

Not cold, just chilly on Tuesday but despite that there were a couple of 'new entries' in the traps. Both
SATELLITE
and
EARLY GREY
now grace the
PCF Year List
Otherwise, most of the rest of the day became something of a
SECRET
of the Lemonade Drinker kind.
Yes, it was a chance to pop off down to
Portland and catch up with my Ol' Shipmate, but there was to be a diversion.
In pursuit of yet another Goshawk or 2 a full hour was spent scanning
a grey, dismal and misty sky, with little or no chance of seeing this
Merciless Raptor.
However, it a Dull Day when something doesn't come in to view and
that turned out to be a bird I see very little of these days, the magnificent
YELLOWHAMMER
Not 'point blank' but about as good as your going to get, and a
continued journey not 'empty handed'.
Any time GOSHAWK comes into my Psyche my memories return to
 that fateful day back in 2012 while on a return visit to a wonderful
 South Korea
 For a recap of the full story Click the LINK below
 Bagsy-TheCaptainsLog - Out-for-a-Duck
While most of the time was spent 'Pulling up Bollards' and 'Swinging the Lamp'
there was a moment of light relief when c2 nervous
STOCK DOVE
landed on the back lawn, only allowing photos through a closed window.
On the way home, and with a slight shift of position, what was thought to be a
female GOSHAWK (comparing size with an attendant Common Buzzard)
was seen at quite an altitude.
But yesterday was very much back to business, and while starting with a light frost and a MINUS on the thermometer there were a few Insects to peruse in the traps, but nothing new.
 YELLOW HORNED
featured again at Merritown Heath
and shown again as this time featuring the
'Yellow Horns' and nifty 'crest'.
There were also repeats of Hebrew Character, Horse Chestnut, Common Quaked and Chestnut.
There is now another source of Moths during my morning wanderings
which also produced Oak Beauty and another Early Grey
 from the brightly lite doorway of the Fencing and Garden Furniture Centre.
By the time the traps had been dealt with the sun was up and it sounded as
if every bird in the locale was in full song. As ever the Irrigation Pond was first on the list
where first to be noticed was something of a 'rarity' here
 in the first instance
 a male
SHOVELER
 and then a female
 A Nice Pair
 followed by 2 of the 3 on parade
 GADWALL
 MOORHEN
 rarely break cover here so good views were welcome.
 COOT
on the other hand continue to be brazen and even showed signs today
 of a little bit of nonsense!
 The pair of
CANADA GEESE
have become sporadic but look like they could settle down here?
 Up to the Sewerage Works Hedge
this the Eastern Section which was alive with birds.
 GOLDCREST
 featured strongly
 and as this individual shows, not at all reluctant to show themselves.
 Seriously outnumbered by
CHIFFCHAFF
this was just one of the estimated 'dozen and a half'.
The Western Hedge
 produced less by way of numbers but far more quality if you don't
count an over-flying
 juvenile (first winter)
 HERRING GULL
 While most of what was estimated to be in excess of 100 have now
dispersed, this female
REED BUNTING
upped the tempo a little before a 'second'
 FIRECREST
was heard, the first being one that has been here for a few days now
but didn't want to put in too much of an appearance.
 You've Been Framed
 This little beauty however was coaxed from the dense vegetation
 by just a little 'pishing'
 produced by gentle blowing between clenched teeth.
It put on a fine performance.
Reaching the 90° turn in the hedge, for whatever reason, this seems to present a psychological barrier for me past which I rarely venture. Another huge Solar Panel Compound is surrounded on this side by a similar hedge, interspersed with Pine and Birch and on the other 2 by mature, boggy Silver Birch woods, Gorse and Heath. This is the only place a Dartford Warbler has been seen from Parley Court Farm Property. Pretending to be brave I ventured forth. Good job I did, as on the first part of this section single, 'calling'
 CROSSBILL
settled only briefly and later as the end was neared
BULLFINCH
 could be heard from above.
Quickly located, they are the first we have seen here since the
first week of the month - thought they'd all left!
Just before reaching the car a
 RED ADMIRAL
was seen
and on the way to the Eco Recycling Works a
 STONECHAT
 was found
 hunting Insects between the Solar Panels.
 A group of c4
ROE DEER
 joined the day tally as did a single
 NUTHATCH
 At Eco there were still found to be c2
GREEN SANDPIPER
video
Cannot remember if this footage has been published before but is from the archive.
Up to 7
 LAPWING
 and this single
 PIED WAGTAIL
 The Fishing Lakes
looked a picture of tranquillity, but all of interest there.
 Most of the Silver Birch Trees here seem to hold these 'twiggy' clusters
 WITCHES BROOM DISEASE
 which I am told by my more learn'ed friend
John Gifford
could be caused by an insect boring into a branch,
or anything from a caterpillar to the grub from a small Fly.
 The first sign of breeding here the remains of a
MALLARD EGG
Returning via the Merritown Heath Gate the
Sand Trap
 showed signs of
BADGER
activity, while on the Heath several
 LINNET
are now well into the Courting Stage of Procreation.
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