Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The (not so) Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch was a bit of a damp squib at the weekend, in my garden at least. During the cold snap I was getting a reasonable variety of birds albeit small numbers. However the switch to warmer conditions overnight Friday/Saturday was like a switch turning off the birds. I did a count on Saturday and had just 2 Blackbirds, a Dunnock and a Pied Wagtail. The latter having started coming in during the cold spell and seemingly taking a liking to the meal worms. It is handicapped by some thread tied around its legs so this easy food source may be very useful to it. It manages to get around reasonably well but keeps pecking at the thread trying to free itself.

Pied Wagtail
A seemingly odd behaviour by the Pied Wagtail was the way it seemed to like standing on ice even when the garden was mostly snow and ice free!

In an attempt to get a more meaningful count I did another one on Sunday but only managed 2 House Sparrows, a Dunnock and the Pied Wagtail.

I would normally expect to see these species along with Robin, Starling, Blue Tit and Great Tit. During the cold spell Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Redwing and Wren were also seen. The most exciting visitor in recent weeks was a Chiffchaff which came through the garden a couple of times that I saw. I have never seen this species in the garden before.

Here are a couple of pictures of garden visitors this past week.

Female Blackbird

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Box End Park WeBS: 13/01/2013

Not much to shout about Sunday morning, not that surprising really as a couple of weeks ago the park was under water. At least the Lapwings were back at the roost now the spit is above water. Counts for the day were as follows:
Black-headed Gull 33  
Cormorant 7  
Grey Heron 1  
Kingfisher 1  
Lapwing 50  
Little Grebe 1  
Mallard 60  
Moorhen 2  
Mute Swan 7 Including 1 first winter bird and one adult with orange Darvic ring 744
Pied/White Wagtail 1  
Sparrowhawk 1  
Total number of species: 11 Individuals: 164

Other birds noted were:

Fieldfare 7 over east
Redwing 1 over east
Stock Dove 1 singing over by the boat house
Treecreeper 1
Skylark 2 over west

Monday, 14 January 2013

Priory Country Park: Update from the park

Priory Country Park: Update from the park: Last weekend was the latest of the monthly volunteer tasks and what a great turnout we had. I guess everyone was burning off the Christmas e...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Latest from the Badger Sett

It's been a while since I had the camera up at the Badger sett so last week I went over and positioned the camera to look down one of the holes. Happy to say there was a lot of activity.
The first section of the video shows a couple of the Badgers meeting up and scent marking each other. There are some weird vocalisations from one or both of them as well.
The next section shows what looks like an intruder being seen off. There was lots of this sort of thing going on, not sure if there is one or more new kids on the block so will have to keep an eye on things to see if I can work it out.
This hole looks quite small compared to some around the sett so I was interested to see how easily a Badger fit down there, as the clip shows, it looks a bit of a squeeze.
Having said that the final part shows a Badger taking new bedding down the hole backwards with no problem at all.

Other animals that visited the sett this week were 2 Muntjac deer (female and male), a Brown Hare and a Brown Rat: