Tuesday, 12 January 2010

2010 Classes Begin

Barn Owl
Today's class involved tackling the long winding road to Tophill Low, which was still a bit dodgy in places. Luckily, no one came a cropper! The highlight in the morning was the Bullfinch at North Marsh, with the Grey Wagtail, Brambling and Redwings at D reservoir the also rans. 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were in D Woods. There were virtually no birds at all at North Marsh in the afternoon, which was still completely frozen over. However, rather surprisingly D reservoir was absolutely free of ice, and contained 2 female Ruddy Ducks, 5+ drake Goldeneye, 8+ female Goldeneye, 5+ GBB Gulls, and over 1,000 Coot! Also present Wigeon, Pochard, Tufted Duck etc. In the afternoon a Willow Tit visited the new feeders, and a Barn Owl landed near the new Tawny Owl box. A Sparrowhawk flew through D Woods and a Kestrel hovered near D Reservoir. In the car park on the way back there was another Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Brambling, and then a male Peregrine flew over - a fitting ending for a day spent struggling through thick slush and ice. And the story behind the Barn Owl... Last night as Richard Hampshire, the Tophill Low warden, was on his way home he found the Barn Owl in the middle of the road between Beverley & Malton. The bird was still warm, and may even have shuddered as he picked it up. Richard is going to send this bird to a lab, as they should be able to ascertain how it was faring during this appalling recent weather.

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