23 March 2008

The reluctant birder...

5:15AM, the Blackbirds are singing, I bury my head in my pillow and go back to sleep. 6:00AM, more Blackbirds, a distant Dunnock, a Robin somewhere and a Collard Dove all think it’s time I got out of bed and started the morning. One look out of the bedroom window and once again I’m heading back to bed - it’s snowing!

I did finally get out and do some birding this morning, after the snow had melted. I spent 2¼ hours looking for Smew at Aston-on-Trent. I drew a blank on the Smew - another small duck that has given me the slip - but I did manage to see a total of 39 species.

Two Sand Martin were the best birds of the morning and, even though the temperature was only just above freezing, they somehow managed to confirm that Spring really is upon us. Quite what these delicate little hirundines thought of a cold English Easter Sunday I can only wonder at but I’m pretty sure that they were finding it a lot colder than Africa.

Other birds seen included Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Goldeneye, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch and Bullfinch. Highest single count was of 32 Mute Swan feeding together by the canal just outside the village of Aston-on-Trent.

One other bird that I noted was Rook. These were the first that I have recorded in my 10-mile zone but I’m sure that I must have seen plenty before today during the past three months. Lesson learnt... keep a look out at all times, even for the common birds!

I’m now up to 75 species seen within 10 miles of home. Tomorrow, I hope to add Chiffchaff and Little Ringed Plover to my total and I may well go in search of the two little ducks again! Then again...

No comments:

Post a Comment