Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snowy visit to the patch

An early rise on a Sunday can only mean 2 things- my better half is away for the weekend, and I have not yet managed a trip out since last Sunday. Difficult to plan, when the weather is so unpredictable and mock papers need marking.
Odd goings on at the start of the circular walk- 5 Cormorants were fishing on the Yare, these guys usually just fly through. The marshes at Woods End were devoid of geese- these were also in the river- but a lovely sight ensued, a Red Fox was out on patrol, padding through the white stuff. 2 Egyptian Geese honked loudly in the offending direction.
The scrub held the usual Tit flocks, and 2 Bullfinch called, unseen. The lagoon was completely forzen over, and I had rather hoped for a Water Rail, displaced. A flock of c10 Reed Bunting buzzed through the reeds, and 2 Bearded Tit pinged through.
Making my way round to the ruins, I was alerted to a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Siskin, which settled in a large oak. A female Kestrel joined them, which initially upset the flock but they did settle. An amusing scene then took place: the Kestrel took off, landed on a tree nearby, and the flock followed. Seeking protection?
Then, more odd news. A family of Mute Swans appeared to harbour 2 Canada Geese, if a little reluctantly. More security in numbers? Walking back towards the church, I could hear Wigeon call. Through the flooded woodland, I could see a flock of around 20, with 15 Teal. They were on a small pool, at the bottom of someone's garden. This is a small, secluded spot and perhaps I can understand the Teal being here, but the Wigeon should surely be elsewhere? Finally, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker was in the churchyard trees.

Interesting article in the Observer regarding the 'release' of Beavers in Scotland. This is something I am personally in favour of, although setting 20 loose illegally is perhaps not the way to go about these things. Cannot seem to post a link, but it is on the website.

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