Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Around the Patch

A New Year and another Patchwork Challenge. I was up and out for a walk before the rest of the family (and most of the town) were up on New Years Day. It was lovely and quiet, just the odd dog walker, even Morrisons was deserted, in fact i've never seen the car park so quiet! Very good for the birds though, the Gulls, Rooks and Crows had taken over, picking at dropped takeaways.

Since then i've been all over the patch, with my walk to work, several visits to the Woods and even managed to get to the rarely visited corner that is in the opposite direction to everything!

Black-headed Gull

Collared Dove

New Years Day

Magpie & Mistle Thrush



Mistle Thrush

Pied Wagtail



The weekend of the 25th was the RSP Big Garden Birdwatch, which I take part in every year, I did my hour between 8.10 and 9.10am on Saturday morning and saw 11 species, not too bad.  There was also Coal and Long-tailed Tits later in the day. 

Blue Tit 2
Blackbird 1
Robin 1
Great Tit 2
House Sparrow 9
Goldfinch 8
Starling 8
Woodpigeon 2
Collared Dove 1
Feral Pigeon 1
Dunnock 2

Feral Pigeons

Long-tailed Tits

Snowdrops and Bluebells are just starting show in the garden, Snowdrops are in flower already elsewhere around town

The woods are full of birds and birdsong, at the moment it's around sunrise when I get there so the birds are busy, one morning I counted 3 singing Song Thrush!

Coal Tit




Great Tit


Dartmouth Park (the one I don't visit often!) it's overrun with Blackbirds, more than any other spot at the moment. I picked up my first Greenfinch of the year here with several at the tops of the trees with lots of Goldfinch. 

Another tree has come down


This bush was in full flower, not wild but part of the gardens planted there

In both Dartmouth and Scatcherd Parks there is blossom on the trees, these particular ones always flower early in the year

To date i'm up to 29 species around the patch plus various other sightings - Rats in the woods, Wood Mice in our window feeder, Squirrels everywhere, regularly calling Foxes around home, there's even been a bat flying over the garden on milder days!

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Rodley Nature Reserve

I spent a couple of hours at Rodley early afternoon on Saturday. Another cold but beautiful day, it was pretty quiet both people and bird wise but I quite enjoyed the peaceful wander.



I also got quite skilled at sitting just behind the framework in the hides so the sun didn't shine right in my face and I could scan most of the water!


Mute Swans


The fields beside the reserve were full of Gulls, Geese and Crows, lots of Canada with a few Greylag Geese, Black-headed and Herring Gulls. 

In the reedbed hide I had it to myself after a little while and a Kingfisher put in an appearance, I was able to sit and watch it fishing for a few minutes, that was quite a lovely moment.

Further around by one of the screens overlooking the reedbeds I had another moment, I heard a noise to the side of the screen and looked down just as a Weasel came under the fence, it stopped, tilted it's head and looked up at me from only a couple of feet away, I didn't dare move and i'm sure the moment was only seconds but it seemed ages! It eventually turned back under the fence and I breathed again! I mean it was seconds but i've never been so close to a Weasel before and to have it stop and look like that, day made!

I spent a little time watching the birds in the Managers Garden, mostly Jackdaws, Stock Doves and Tits. The trees around were full of Crows, a couple of Pied Wagtails flew over and a noisy Mistle Thrush landed overhead. All the while the sky is filled with the noise of the Geese and Gulls.



I didn't have time to stop for a drink as I was due to meet my husband who'd gone for a cycle along the canal whilst I visited the reserve and we were off to visit my brother and his family. I'm lucky they don't live too far from here and we can both squeeze in something we enjoy on the way!