12 Feb 2009

It's bl**dy cold out!

Most of the week I've been working outside in sub -zero temperatures and have managed very litle birding. A brief visit to Rivacre Valley resulted in a suprising Little Egret that has apparantly been present for several weeks. A first for the reserve. Good numbers of Lesser Redpolls were feeding in birch trees alongside the brook.

The Redpoll flock in Stanney is now well scattered but MT managed to catch up with one or more of the Mealy's. There are signs, despite the cold, that spring is springing - the Heron is catching frogs in the still semi- frozen ponds and birds such as the Nuthatch and Stock Dove shown below are proclaiming their territorial rights. Even the Great-spotted Woodpeckers are joining in!

An early morning dart to Frodsham before work netted a single Ruff & two Little Stints on a frozen No. 6 tank. Elsewhere a check of a reed fringed lake on the edge of Ellesmere Ports industrial area snared a male and female Goosander and a shell shocked looking Ruddy Duck. A great little spot this and very close to the Mersey Estuary, nestled away almost hidden fro mthe road. Following information received from Pod a quick trip to the sandstone hills just south of Chester meant marsh Tit was added to my local list.
A report on the pager of a Europena White-fronted Goose at Gilroy Nature Park (within a clipped wings glide of the duck brothel that is Newton duck pond) raised hopes but an investigation by the Wirrals premier goose expert disocvered a poxy looking Greylag hybrid. The size gave it away..........

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