Thursday, January 13, 2011

How Do They Do That?

It’s only January 13th but this morning I saw a Collared Dove carrying nest material, a small twig, into a tall, dense roadside conifer. Just yesterday I swear a female Blackbird was weighing up the possibilities near the top of a garden conifer, a spot where Blackbirds built last year until a spring gale toppled the nest sideways. We know birds have in-built compasses that help them migrate, but they must also recognise the lengthening days as the North Pole tilts closer to the sun, then use their 365 day clock as a prompt to when they should begin the beguine with the opposite sex?

And I must admit, temperatures have climbed a bit in the last day or two, sufficient to activate the sap to rise perhaps, and definitely enough to finally thaw the pools at Lane Ends, even if that’s left us instead grey, gloomy and rain sodden. The pools held 3 Goldeneye today, the first I have seen there for some months, today a male and two females. I never ever see Goldeneye arrive or leave here, and if danger arrives they simply dive then surface further away, and they must come and go during darkness or near dark only.


From the sea wall I counted 26 Whooper Swans heading off inland, and on the inland, now very wet field, 90+ Greylag and half a dozen Pink-footed Geese, several Curlew and 2 Black-tailed Godwits. A short walk along the wall revealed 2 Little Egret, 2 Reed Bunting and a single Meadow Pipit.


I spent more time at Fluke Hall this morning, looking in the wet fields, the wood and the hedgerows and got pretty healthy counts, helped by the local Buzzard that flew a couple of sorties around its patch. As the Buzzard soared over, pursued by a posse of Jackdaws, even the ground hugging Red-legged Partridge panicked to such a degree that I managed to count 90+ heading for the safety of the Fluke Hall trees. Also here in the wet and partially flooded stubble, and flushed off during the Buzzard/Jackdaw fracas were 380 Lapwing, 70 Redshank, 450 Jackdaw, 135 Woodpigeon and 4 Stock Dove, with 2 Redwing and 3 Tree Sparrows pushed out from the roadside hedge. Rather strangely a single drake Wigeon sat on the Fluke Hall pool with the Mallards, but this may be the same injured bird I saw on the marsh a week or so ago that dived into the creeks to escape my rescue attempts.


Stock Dove

The fields behind Fluke Hall and up to and including Ridge Farm were awash with Pink-footed Geese, still finding old spuds down in the furrows where Lapwings hung about waiting for the geese to unearth animal goodies. I reckoned on something like 2000+ geese keeping out of range of guns and cameras, but with their comings and goings and general noise, it was the normal visual spectacle and aural treat.

Well I hope the weather picks up and allows a spot of ringing, but the BBC forecast for the next three days is dire, truly awful. But then last night’s prediction wasn’t too good, nor the one as late as 8am this morning, but in fact the morning was pretty bright with a hint of sun and not nearly as bad as the experts predicted. How do they do that?

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails