13 Jan 2014

January Footit campaign

Last year I took part in the Footit campaign to ditch the car and see how many species of bird you could see in January on foot around your local patch. This year its changed slightly and the options are now either a 1,2 or 3 mile radius of your house! I'm doing a 2 mile radius which encompasses Stanney Woods and all the farmland to the south of where I live.

Its a brilliantly simple idea and I've set myself an ambitious target of 70 species. I'm on 56 and species I'd thought would be certain are missing! Things like Lapwing, Jack Snipe and Golden Plover that I'd normally expect as at least flyovers have so far eluded me - possibly because the weathers bee nso mild and all the birds are still out on the estuaries. I've now searched my 'snipe field' three times for Common & Jack Snipe and have only just managed a single Common Snipe so far.....

                                             Flooded area of fallow field good for Snipe.
Allan Conlin has had the male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker in Stanney Woods calling and drumming on a sunny day last week but despite another three visits I've still not managed to catch up with the elusive little bleeder.

One of the highlights so far was finding a Little Egret feeding in the grounds of the Capenhurst Grange special school about 0.5 miles from the house. We had two fly over the house on Christmas Eve which were a first for the 'patch' so its nice to find where they've probably been feeding.

I've even resorted to going out on moonlit nights walking and listening for Owls and added two Little Owls and a Tawny owl to the list last week - both in the vicinity of Backford whilst a nearby Barn Owl box delivered the goods on the 2nd of January.

However, the highlight has been a large pale Redpoll species photographed in the garden. It was only present a few minutes with a single Lesser Redpoll. I'm still debating this bird but at the very least its a well marked Mealy...............

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