Thursday, 28 December 2017

Mandarin made a visit

Date: 28/12/2017
Location: Newton St Loe
Weather: Blue Skies but cold
Species Highlights: 
Mandarin Duck, sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Linnet, Skylark.
Observation: 
Totally blue skies today and after the success of the 26th thought i'd head out to see if Hawfinches were still about. 
First highlight of the day didn't happen until the fields while looking across fields i saw around 20 Skylarks flying from left to right across field in front of me. As i followed on along towards Seven Acre again scanning across skyline a Sparrowhawk sped some 5ft from the ground giving me a great view of this brilliant bird, sorry no photo, it was closely following behind a large group of Linnets around 150 birds. Which has been here for a few weeks now. After seven Acre a Buzzard flew directly into the sun giving me a excellent view.  


At the Globe watch point the Yellowhammers were still present near the Trigpoint, a couple of Meadow Pipits overhead but nothing on lower fields.


Into village and busy with cars visiting the Farm shop only a few Redwing's and even fewer Fieldfare although this one stayed for a photo..


After a fly past in the church yard from a grey Heron, bit unusual there was little else until lake. Met a few other birders today always nice to meet fellow patch walkers.
Bottom lake Billy present but top lake a Mandarin duck!! Number 87 this year.
At first tucked away on far side.


But great to see, then a Little Grebe made a appearance too.


While eating my Apple the Mandarin seem to disappear, on scanning the lake noticed he was mixing with the Mallards so walked down towards him, giving me some excellent views.


Stunning in the sunshine.


Spent 30 mins checking out Yew tree's near the Keep but no sign of the Hawfinches, a birder earlier on walk said he spoke to someone else who saw 1 bird this morning , turned out Robert Kelsh on Twitter saw 4 birds in total, but i had no sign, did see a few Greenfinch.
Along College drive 2 Stock Dove in far trees.


The 3rd Buzzard of the day being hounded but the many Jackdaw.


We had some snow yesterday but little was left now, this is Kelston Knoll with a bit left, its 2 miles as the Jackdaw flies away.


Ended walk on 48 species, the blue skies continued and pleased that the last bird was to be the Kestrel who flew as soon as she saw me.
A great walk meeting some nice people hope to catch up again.


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