19 Dec 2010

In the deep mid winter.

The big  freeze is back and with it some stunning scenery aroud Hilbre as the sub zero temperatures make it resemble more like Alaska than the UK. The intrepid Obs teams made it to the island both Saturday and Sunday despite the persistent bone chilling cold - we even had ice flows!

Plenty of birds around though with a good sized flock of Scaup containing up to 60 birds with the odd Shoveller & Tufted Duck thrown in on consecutive days.
Several skeins of Pink-feet were logged flying overhead but the waders were the best. Driving across as the tide ebbed and using the Landrover as a hide gave fantastic close views.

 Another feature of the cold weather was a constant overhead movement of Skylarks with some big flocks being recorded on both Saturday & Sunday. Several groups landed on Hilbre which is a scarce occurrence these days.

Closer to home the garden birds are making huge inroads to the feed supplies. The Moorhens are regular and wait by the kitchen window for a slice of bread in the mornings whilst a male Bullfinch has joined the commoner finches around the seed feeders. This morning I went out and found  two Waxwings  on the TV aerial but by the time I'd got the camera back out the Landrover they'd flown off. A Redwing sat in our Ash tree wasn't so shy.

An abortive trip to Inner Marsh Farm with Al Orton Friday afternoon in search of a reported Green-winged Teal revealed only a runt looking Common Teal still with some juvenile plumage but plenty of these feeding on spilt grain around the feeders.

1 comment :

johnnicklin345 said...

Hi Phil

Some super photos again,and I for one would never have guessed they were of Hilbre.
It's remarkable seeing the birds eating almost anything at the moment,we're currently putting out chopped up scraps of anything we have left over from the kitchen,and it's vanishing within minutes.
We've relocated the Feeding Station which is now hanging 20 feet up outside our bedroom window,and it's doubled in popularity,whether that's because of the ever increasing bad weather,or because it's now situated in a position where it's very difficult for Sparrowhawks to attack it,whilst at the same time completely eradicating any chance of it being attacked by any of the local Cats,we're not sure.
It must be a great treat being able to feed the Moorhens every day,whilst at the same time knowing that you're quite literally throwing them a Lifeline.

Cheers Denzil