Saturday 6 February 2016

Nice Weather For Ducks?

Not sure which ducks they asked, but the ducks on patch seemed decidedly miffed by the cold, grey, windy and wet weather.....!

Parking at the end of Lighthouse Lane I could immediately hear Grey Partridges and a number of mixed finches and buntings. However the light drizzle was by now becoming heavier and more persistent. Making the short dash down to the Lighthouse I decided to hunker down on the shore under the Lighthouse wall, which at least afforded me a little shelter.

Frodsham Score produced the regular Great White Egret, 9 Little Egret and 16 Whooper Swan. Smaller numbers of ducks fed on the edges with 7 Pintail, 100 Wigeon and 75 Teal, whilst the Canada Goose flock held a small number of Pinkies. The Mersey itself was relatively quiet, but constant scanning eventually picked up 2 Pochard flying upriver towards Frodsham (presumably to join the flock on the Weaver).

The finch and bunting flock from early January appears to hves split into smaller groups, and I enjoyed watching a flock of about 250 mixed Linnet and Goldfinch which slowly came closer and closer. Despite a good grilling I couldn't pick out a Twite.

The mixed finch flock was joined by the odd Meadow Pipit, whilst a Rock Pipit skulked on the shore. I gave the shore one final scan, having grown weary of getting drenched, and was glad that I did. A male Mandarin was sat in with the Mallards, presumably the same bird that put in an appearance in November last year.

A quick check of the Bunting flock by the Lighthouse produced 4 Yellowhammer and 17 Reed Bunting, hopefully numbers will increase before the end of the winter. At least 21 Grey Partridge were mooching about in the weedy field, and a Sparrowhawk bombed through. By now my optics were drenched and I decided to dry out and pop round to Pickerings.

The hedgerows were full of Blue, Great and Long tailed Tits, with Goldcrests buzzing about. A nice mix of finches were around the car park and the back fields including Siskin, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, whilst a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead. Sadly despite much searching there was no sign of the recent Firecrest.

The sun came out for all of 1 minute and 29 seconds, before quickly being replaced by the grey, wet murk. However there was a half decent gull gathering, so I decided to brave the rain and give them a grilling. Sadly the best I could find was a single adult Yellow Legged Gull and Mediterranean Gull. Surely it is only a matter of time before a decent gull puts in a showing......

A Peregrine sat on the Runcorn Bridge looking thoroughly jarred off with the weather, and to be honest it was at this point I decided to call it a day. So 2 new additions (Pochard and Mandarin) to the Patchwork Challenge leaves me on 116 for the year. Plenty of time left to pick up some of the winter targets, but hopefully the weather will be better next weekend!!

No comments:

Post a Comment