Since my previous post, which seems like an age ago, my main focus has been on house and garden upgrades, local daily walks and has even included a short trip back down to England for medical reasons. Although my trip was essential, the biggest problem with travelling back to England is that with all flights currently suspended into Birmingham Airport from Aberdeen I had little choice other than to complete a gruelling 850-mile round trip by car!
Anyway, 'Service Resumed' I'm back now and with the onset of spring it's all systems go in preparation for some intense birding, provided of course that the current lockdown restrictions on local travel are eased sometime soon.
|One of the long-staying Great Northern Divers in the gloom at Draycote Water|
As I was staying close to my old birding ground back in England it did provide the opportunity for some extra year ticks while enjoying my daily exercise at the nearby Draycote Water. These Included Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe and a few species that are a little harder to find up here in North-East Scotland, for example, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Goose, Gadwall and Lesser Blacked-backed Gull although the latter are now beginning to return after their winter absence.
|It was also nice to see a few Chiffchaff around Draycote Water, including one singing.|
My local birding continues to provide plenty of variety and I'm still getting used to the fact that observing species such as Dipper and Tree Sparrow on most of my daily walks is normality. During one walk in particular a Corn Bunting was perched singing from the phone wires, another species apparently not uncommon to the area!
|Greenland White-fronted Goose on the nearby fields|
The Whooper Swans and Pink-footed Geese continue to feed up for their big exodus and in amongst a local flock of mixed Greylag/Pink-Footed, I was able to connect with both a single Barnacle Goose and Greenland White-Fronted Goose, thanks to another local birder getting the news out swiftly.
|Brambling in the treetops of the local 'Green'|
The kitchen window continues to deliver as I look across to the treetops of the local 'Green'. One session while enjoying breakfast produced several Brambling and Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Bullfinch are all regular visitors.