Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Tight Underpants or Prickly Needles?

The final visit to Brideshead this year took place on Wednesday. The Nuthatches weren't in the car park this time, but 2 Grey Wagtails flew over in the morning, and a Peacock Butterfly flew into a large hole at the base of the Oak Tree I was parked next to at lunchtime.  I looked instead, but it was a deep hole, and there was no sign of it.
Treecreeper - with tongue
There had been another clear out of wildfowl since Thursday, with just small numbers of the usual species: Goldeneye, Goosanders (4), Wigeon and slightly more Tufted Duck and Gadwall. However we couldn't find any Teal in the morning, but we did locate a few after lunch. At least one of the 3 male Great Crested Grebes had found a partner since Thursday, but they didn't indulge in any courtship dancing while we were watching them. There was a small noisy rookery establishing itself among the Scots Pines. Presumably these are near a previous stand of a Elms. Both sessions heard a very loud high-pitched strangulated Rook among the deeper caws of the 'normal' specimens. It wasn't clear if these strange sounds were the result of trying to nest among prickly pine needles, or whether this bird was wearing a right pair of underpants. 
Rook - a prickly perch? [MJF]
 Great Crested Grebe [MJF]
 Robin [MJF]
We had a really good view of a pair of Treecreepers at the absolute limit of our walk. Miles spotted a Canada x Greylag hybrid in the grounds, and he, Brian and Gina could hear a distant drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker many minutes before my ancient ears could discern it. We had just started to retrace our steps when I heard a distinctive gabbling barking sound, and looking up we saw two skeins in a v-formation heading west of c.200 individuals - Pink-footed Geese. 
Treecreeper (c) 2014 Tony Robinson
Treecreeper (c) 2014 Aileen Urquhart
 Treecreeper [MJF]
 Record Shot of Canada x Greylag Goose Hybrid
 Pink-footed Geese [MJF]
 Record Shot of Pink-footed Geese (c) 2014 Aileen Urquhart
 Record Shot of Nuthatch
 Record Shot of Nuthatch
 Pied Wagtail [MJF]
We were almost back before we heard and then saw a pair of Nuthatches in the grounds of the Caravan Park. This area was also the best location to see finches. There were several Chaffinches chasing each other, one or two Goldfinches around and a single Lesser Redpoll flew in an easterly direction. There was also a 'large' flock of at least 6 Greenfinches around there.  Back in the car park in the afternoon a male Pied  Wagtail was on the roof of the lodge right next to our cars.  

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