Sunday, 24 February 2013

Seeing Green

Jenny and I took a leisurely stroll down through the parish early afternoon today. We walked via Freeman's Wood to the Pools, along the track to the parking area, up Aldcliffe Hall Lane (aka Railway Crossing Lane) and through Aldcliffe village to Admiralty Wood and down to Fairfield Millennium Orchard.
It stayed dry and relatively mild, but was mostly overcast throughout.
A gang of urban teens were trampling around the reserve at Freeman's Pools, fulfilling every stereotype with regulation bull terriers in tow. As a result, the water was pretty birdless with the exception of some hardy coot.
Twenty or so wigeon were on Frog Pond, but there was little else there. Darter Pool was similarly quiet with just coot and moorhen present.
The usual common passerines including goldcrest, long-tailed tit and greenfinch were much in evidence in the hedgerows and field edges.

Green sandpiper
Things picked up a touch at the Wildfowlers' Pools with a green sandpiper showing nicely.
Once again I was unarmed, photographically speaking, so rather than stick an old photo of a green sandpiper on here I have posted another one of my ancient pen and ink illustrations.
You may start appreciating my photos a bit more now that you've seen the alternative!

Other than the regular teal, mallard, redshank and oystercatcher and what-not, it was reasonably quiet at the Wildfowlers' Pools.
The Flood was pretty much devoid of life bar a scattering of lapwing, redshank, shelduck and dunlin. Good numbers of curlew and starling were feeding in the fields.
A scan over Aldcliffe Marsh revealed the usual little egrets and such plus the pink-footed goose flock had increased to some 1,600 birds.
A few fieldfare were seen in the fields as we walked up to the village, though these once dead-cert fields for grey partridge drew a blank. I haven't seen any since I got back and I wonder what the current status is of partridge is in the Aldcliffe area. I expect I will get a better idea in the spring when they get vocal.
Nuthatches and great-spotted woodpeckers were audibly notable at Admiralty Wood but I couldn't pick out any little owls today.



Guy McClelland said...

Hi Jon - I've admired your illustrations in the LDBWS report and I'm happy to see your talent has reached the blog. Certainly better than most photo's.


Greg Potter said...

Jon - you;re doing yourself a dis-service with your drawings! Can I have a signed original Carter bird drawing?

Hope you and Jen well.


Jon Carter said...

My! Such praise - thanks Guy and Greg, for your kind comments. At this rate I may just take up doodling again.
And if I don't get a job soon, I may just have to think about flogging a few!