Wednesday, 2 January 2019

New Years Day CBWPS Green Bird Race

A day of car free birding around our local parish and a race to see how many birds me and Libbie could see in 24hours

Yellowhammers seem to have a healthy population where I live we saw 14 during the day

At only just past midnight whilst most people were probably out celebrating me and Libbie had just got ready for bed and could hear a Song Thrush that had been woken up by the local firework display , the first bird of 2019! Our bird list for the day was underway but we soon drifted off to sleep in readiness for an early start ( although I did wake up at 5:30am to the sound of a Pheasant calling away)

Well before dawn we were up and ready and heading out at 7:15am and although it was pitch black a Golden Plover flew over calling just above my house and as we headed over to the local farm we were delighted to hear both Barn Owl and Tawny Owl , a great start! Soon some passerines started to stir from their slumbers and Libbie heard a Robin singing and a Crow calling from the copse. A snipe flew over and as the sun came up a group of Yellowhammers flew out from their roost. We headed home for Breakfast and to help my Mum for an hour or so but that didn’t stop us adding more birds to the list!

With the feeders topped up we enjoyed seeing Coal Tit , Chaffinch , Great Spotted Woodpecker and Starling and also whilst I fed my pets a Bullfinch flew over calling and some House Sparrows were busy eying up the chicken feed. 

The Countryside around my house is very good for woodland birds with lots of mature tree's

The local pond has an excellent small reedbed- even Bittern has been seen here in the past

Now was time to set off for our marathon walk all around the local area and what a brilliant day we had! All the birds seemed to be so showy and we had some nice surprises of some scarce birds for the local area. Our first visit was to the local village pond where we saw a Canada Goose as Goldfinches fed in the Alders and Libbie had her first views of a stunning male Bullfinch. We then headed to the local sewage works enjoying a few Common Chiffchaffs and a very showy Dipper for Libbie. We carried on across farmland and fields adding a solitary Skylark and a surprise group of 10 Fieldfare, whilst ten Buzzards gluided together over a Pheasant Farm.

We were pleased to see 2 Marsh Tit's during our walk

After a brief encounter with the New Years Day Hunt in the middle of a wet valley with trumpets blowing and hounds everywhere ( why do these things happen to me when I am out birding!) we arrived in the hamlet of Talskiddy. Birds seemed to be everywhere with Redwings and Starlings filling the fields and a Marsh Tit on a garden birdfeeder being a highlight. We soon arrived at the local pond which is always an excellent place to Birdwatch and our gave our only chance of some waterbirds. Two Cormorants were a good local record and a Moorhen , 2 Mallard and a Grey Heron were good padders for the list. The real highlight ( especially for Libbie) were 4 very showy Water Rails feeding on the flattened reed bed. Time was beginning to run out so we stomped up to Trewan Hall ( a local Manor House ) and scanned the mature tree’s. Luck was again on our side as two Great Spotted Woodpecker, at least 4 Nuthatch , 1 Treecreeper and a Mistle Thrush all showed well. As the light began to fade we positioned ourselves overlooking the valley behind my house hoping for a Woodcock , sadly nothing was doing but a flyby Common Gull going to roost and 3 Roe Deer more than made up for it.

Goldcrest in Black & White

It was great to see so many Song Thrushes today with at least 20 sited

We walked 8 miles and saw 55 species of birds as well as many different tree’s, plants and fungi. It just goes to show that sometimes the best place to visit for nature are right on your doorstep….

Birds: Woodpigeon , 2 Stock Dove, Collared Dove, 6 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Magpie,Raven, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Long-tailed Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, 4 Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 120 Meadow Pipit, Skylark, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Dipper, 10 Fieldfare, 60 Redwing, 20 Song Thrush, Blackbird, 3 Cormorant, Mistle Thrush, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, 14 Yellowhammer, Starling, 3 Chifffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Snipe, Grey Heron, Moorhen, 4 Water Rail, Pheasant, 6 Red-legged Partridge, Buzzard, Feral Pigeon 

Yellow Brain Fungus

Fungi: Candle Snuff Fungus, Yellow Brain Fungus

Mammals: Rabbit, Roe Deer

Wild Flowers: Greater Periwinkle, White Ramping Fumitory, Common Polypody, Male Fern, Petty Spurge, Nipplewort, Red Campion, Gorse, Ivy, Bramble, Nettle, Navelwort, Snowdrop, Bracken, Broom, Hartstongue, Travellers Joy, Junkus, Rhodedendren, Buddleia, Daisy, Chickweed, Buttercup, Ribwort Plantain, Greater Plantain, Winer Heliotrope, Hogweed, Tutsan, Acanthus, Herb Robert, Phragmites Reed, Camilla Japonica, Primrose, Black Bryony, Broad Leaved Dock, Bulrush, Section Ruderalia.

Tree's: Turkey Oak, Beech, Holly, Hazel, Ash, Elder, Sycamore, Bay Willow, English Oak, Blackthorn, Alder, Horse Chesnut, Cotoneaster, Silver Birch, Holm Oak, Field Maple, European Larch, Sweet Chesnut, Weeping Willow, Apple , Monkey Puzzle, Cornish Elm.

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