Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A Knockout Boxing day Walk

Date: 26/12/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Overcast grey
Species Highlights: 
Hawfinch, Linnet.
Observation: 
After eating excess foods yesterday I thought a early walk around patch was in order. It was clear skies and sunshine when I looked out the window it all looked good but on leaving the front door the skies changed to overcast and drizzle!
Out through Bath Mill not much going on, but the Fields around seven acre had 150+ Linnets darting from field to field with a couple of Meadow Pipits also. Looking down towards the Globe pub and 400+ Wood Pigeon feeding and hiding from the constant gun fire from Stanton Prior and off patch woodlands. A group of 15 Yellowhammer in normal spot and seed that i've been putting down was all gone. Across Pennyquick and Redwing in Sheep field and a couple of Fieldfare. This Mistle Thrush was one of many seen today along with 5 Song Thrush.


At lakes here's a picture of the new kissing gate (picture doesn't do the complicatedness)
Was very funny chatting to the welders as they were trying to explain how it was going to work, they were not sure either, still more welding to finish it too!


Bottom lake Grey Heron and Billy the Mute present.


As i walked along lakeside spotted this Kingfisher, water level had risen overnight and i think he had little hope of catching fish today. 
I was amazed at the colour difference a few meters make.


The brilliantly bright plumage of the kingfisher looks totally different from this angle.


Top lake and all the regulars present apart from Goosanders, Teal numbers at 25 birds Mute Swans doing well with the Cygnet still with mum and Dad despite the adults chasing off the other youngsters.
Now the main event!
Carried on walking up towards the Keep, on the College grounds and was checking out tree tops for Greenfinch which the other day had a few birds spotted 5 birds almost in same spot but a quick scan across tree tops revealed a Hawfinch! I nearly dropped the binoculars and quickly raised the camera up to take a record snap.


Saw 5 Hawfinch in total with them spending time flying between the Keep and Trees by Main house.


Birds were distant even though i had 560mm pointing at them, but a record shot i'm extremely happy with!


What with the amount of Hawfinch in UK at the moment i hoped it was only a matter of time before Newton St Loe had some.
The Hawfinch takes our Patch to 95 species and this year alone we've had 
Little Egret
Red Kite
Mediterranean gull
Sandwich Tern
Woodcock.
Plus the return of Lapwing a amazing year for sure. Gonna have one more wander before the end of 2017 but surely nothing else can turn up ??
ended todays walk on 49 species another high scoring walk.

But the star if the Hawfinch.


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