Monday, 8 December 2008

6th-7th December. Hennock and surrounds...

Nice weekend... We started out with a ringing session at Wray on Saturday, catching a fairly decent 20 birds. En route we had fine views of a Tawny Owl perched over the road and a couple of Woodcock beetling over. Best of them were a couple of Nuthatch and a trio of Marsh Tit, but a retrap Goldcrest from the spring was also a real pleasure. The fine and crisp weather meant the morning was simply stunning, with a light frost and almost no wind at all - quite warm enough for a handful of bumblebees to be buzzing around the ivy flowers. We also found a small patch of climbing corydalis (Corydalis claviculata) still in flower - that should have gone over in September! Bird of the day was probably the bank vole living under the stone we used as a ringing table; he/she/it scurried out to feed on a number of occasions whilst we worked.

We then headed on to Stover to meet a hashing friend of Na's, so they could apparently prepare a Christmas run. I took the opportunity to wander slowly round the lake and count the finch roost in - not very exciting, but about 250 birds in, mainly Greenfinch and Chaffinch, but a couple of Redpoll, a Goldfinch and 5 Brambling spiced the mix up.

Black-headed Gull. Not exactly rare, but nice light on it.

Some reflected pine trees in a drainage ditch: not sure whether I like the image or not. Perhaps it's worth it...

Sunday was our first attempt to ring here in Hennock, and we ended up with a catch of 47 new birds over the morning; another couple of Nuthatch and a Song Thrush probably the best of the bunch.

Nuthatch in the paw. This is a male, perhaps an adult (TF passed on some possible ageing criteria, which Svensson lacks). Sexed on a combination of rich chestnut undertail coverts and flanks (not visible in this picture) and the neat border between buff throat and white chin. The hint of a white border around the forehead also suggests male, apparently.

As I still needed some fresh air, we took ourselves off to the reservoirs to do some top-up atlassing, but again, bird of the day was a mammal: this time a Daubenton's bat feeding over Tottiford reservoir. Somewhat incongruous to see a small bat out in the midday sun over a partly-frozen reservoir!


Cold enough for a part-frozen reservoir. Nice patterns!

And finally a friendly Robin which attempted to mug us for crumbs. Poser.

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