Monday, December 16, 2013

Cup Half Full!

Greetings to my reader and apologies for the lack of updates recently, this entirely due to the shortage of any major action around the patch. Not surprising really, with excellent berry crops and temperatures still above the seasonal average in Scandinavia and northern Europe, there's still little movement into the UK from some of our winter favourites such as Smew, Bittern and Waxwing. In fact amazingly, there have even been reports of Barn Swallows still being seen on some of our southern coasts in the past week!

Grey Wagtail - Frequently on the marina grounds.
That said, my cup is always half full and you can't complain when you've got a few long staying goodies on the patch like Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser and Long-tailed Duck at Draycote Water and Yellow-legged Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, a huge Starling roost and lots of wintering wildfowl at Brandon Marsh!

Thankfully, our Tree Sparrows have returned!
Living on a marina is also a real bonus, now that the moorers can once again put feeders out! Long story of some weird management decisions recently. Thankfully, both our Reed Bunting and Tree Sparrow populations have returned and several were making us of the re-installed feeders the other morning. Our regular Pied Wagtail roost has been fluctuating of late, but a decent count of over a hundred was managed on Friday evening. Both Chiffchaff and Blackcap have also been recorded around the grounds, small numbers of Golden Plover and Lapwing are often found in the adjacent fields and a couple of Grey Wagtails have also been a regular feature. I've now been given permission, after a long battle, by Lord Shuckburgh's son to place a Little Owl box in one of the local fields I've been monitoring and thanks to James at the Crossroads Garage for his help in securing the permission. Hopefully I can entice some of the declining local birds to take advantage of the new home.

Reed Bunting - back on the feeders!
Should also mention a very entertaining half hour or so spent flat out on the pontoon on Friday evening. No not the wine, but the Geminid meteor shower, which produced a half dozen or so really bright meteors, before I finally succumbed to the cold. Despite chastising Richard on a number of occasions regarding his self imposed blogging sabbatical,( sadly to no avail, it's up to me to pass on the local astronomical news. With this in mind the ISS, or 'shed' as he knows it, will be making several bright passes over the UK this coming week just after sunset, details HERE.

Finally, I'll be spending Christmas week once again on the north-west coast, after which I'm off to France for the new year, so I'm very hopeful of some decent birding over the period, which I'll naturally keep my reader up to date with. So whatever your doing over the Christmas and new year, make time for the birds and keep watching the skies!!