Friday, 19 April 2013

Bibbed Blackbird Brings Birthday Bonus

Yet another Freeman's Pools pic...
Having spent last weekend working up near Penrith, I took Monday off (it just so happened to be my birthday) and I found a couple of hours to have a good look around the patch.
With the wind having changed direction a few days earlier things were definitely starting to feel a little more spring-like!
The undoubted highlight came as I neared the end of my walk and on a whim decided to check the hedgerow behind Freeman's Pools - in the past this has turned up such spring goodies as whinchat, redstart plus both spotted and pied flycatchers - and came across a cracking male ring ouzel. This, perhaps surprisingly, was only my second ever Aldcliffe ouzel, the previous one being an autumn bird.
My occasional visits to the patch in recent days have proved reasonable with continued arrivals of swallows, sand martins, chiffchaffs, willow warblers and wheatears being the main arrivals, plus the odd blackcap or two.
A few 'winter' wildfowl are hanging in with up to 7 wigeon still around Frog Pond and a pair of gadwall commuting between there and Freeman's Pools.

Here hare, here.
I haven't seen the green sandpiper since April 11, though I did bag my first whimbrel of the season on 14th.  Just one pair of little ringed plover remain on the The Flood.
Other winter remnants included an impressive flock of 82 redwing on the 11th feeding in the fields in the company of a lone male wheatear.
A couple of strolls through the nearby Fairfield FAUNA reserve while on my way to and from the office were rewarding with up to 5 wheatears present as well as a stunning male whinchat yesterday (Thurs).
Mammals wise I haven't seen any roe deer lately but brown rats continue to be ever-present, plus low numbers of brown hares can be found occasionally (and photographed at long range...). 
My work schedule currently has me all over the place, so my updates here may continue to be a little erratic for a while - though I'll try and make more effort to maintain regular postings!

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