Monday, 9 November 2009

The BIG Garden birdwatch!

Having a new baby and now with the wife back at work I was considering my birding options this morning. With the little 'un down for a nap i stepped outside into the glorious sunshine, camera and bins at the ready and a cuppa in hand. I immediately noticed the amount of birds flying over. Skylarks, Chaffinches, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon and a Snipe, all within a couple of minutes. I decided to stick it out until the baby woke up (two hours she slept fortunately!) Four Golden Plover flew north, Meadow Pipit, more Skylark (flock of 22 was highest count), two Bullfinch and quite a few Blackbirds, one flock totalled eight birds! At about 1030hrs a 'honking' noise caught my attention and i raised my bins to see a juv WHOOPER SWAN flying west across the fields, my first garden tick of the day. By the time the baby had woken up i had totalled over 30 species seen!

Whooper Swan (juv) flying west. Two adults were at Gwithian the same morning.

Not long after, my neighbour, Mike popped round to tell me he had a Woodcock on his lawn. The photos shown here were taken by me through his front double glazed window! Amazing bird!
Woodcock on my neighbours' lawn.

At about 1330hrs, the missus came home and i tended to the washing up. I'd been at the sink for about 5 mins when a pale looking bird flew up the garden towards me. My expletives made the wife jump and i grabbed wildly for my camera shouting, "ROSE-COLOURED STARLING, Bloody Hell!" The juvenile bird then alighted briefly on wires next door before dropping down out of sight. I phoned Mark Halliday and text a few others to alert them of my good fortune. Before long Mark was waiting with compulsary 'fag and a brew' in my back yard waiting for another Rosy appearance.
Rose-coloured Starling, a surprise Garden Tick!

After about 30mins Mark picked up on a ring-tailed Harrier flying south being mobbed by a crow. HEN HARRIER was now my 3rd garden tick of the day!!Mark finally located the Rosy Starling on wires at the front of the cottage as he left.

Hen Harrier being mobbed by a Carrion Crow

What an amazing day! Three garden ticks (not sure what my list stands at at the moment?) and a total of 40 species altogether. Thank god i had my camera with me!

Sparrowhawk (below) and Raven (above)

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