Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Danish garden list.

OK, it's not my garden, but it is the garden of the house of our friends with whom we are staying, having a rest after the Dutch Bird Fair and the long drive up through The Netherlands and Germany to Denmark.

Crossing the border from Germany to Denmark

The day started well when I looked at the local trees and noted that many are elder with loads of berries. I told Elis to look out for Icterine Warblers among the many warblers that were feasting on the fruit. There were Common and Lesser Whitethroats,

Common Whitethroat

Chiff Chaff,

Common Chiff-Chaff

and Willow Warblers,

Willow Warbler

a single Reed Warbler the odd Garden Warbler,

Garden Warbler

and many, many Blackcaps.

Female or immature Blackcap

Male Blackcap

Elis started to make her favourite squeaking noise, and bird dropped down from the canopy of the lagrer trees behind the elders, it them popped momentarily into view, it was an Icterine Warbler.I felt very smug, but it didn't sit still long enough to be photographed!

The second morning we repeated the walk around the local area and found that many of the warblers were gone, the only addition to the list of birds was Pied Flycatcher, which also eluded Elis' camera.

Other birds seen uncluded;

High flying migrating Grey-lag Geese
Young Bullfinch

Marsh Tit sitting in a very twee fashion.

Last but not least House Sparrow.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Three more additions to the cottage list.

Recent events have been rather more birdy and wildlife filled than of late.

A while back the farmer came and cut the oil seed in the field behind the cottage. This meant we could see the lake again and we spotted a Common Sandpiper (No. 60 on the list) on the only patch of mud we can see from the cottage, later in the day there were two of them.

Not long after that the number of pigeons on the field started to grow as they came and gleaned for seeds. A number of Feral Pigeons came, many of them white or with varying amounts of white in them and then one day, in among the Wood Pigeons was a single Stock Dove (61). This stayed for one afternoon and the following morning but has not been seen since.

Stock Dove with Wood Pigeons on recently cut field.

A couple of days ago the farmer ploughed the field and I stated that I thought this might bring in some Lapwings. The next morning I was proven right as three fed down near the lake (62).

Mammal wise we saw some young foxes gambolling, a Muntjac crossed the field and a Hare was seen in the long grass the other side of the stream that brings the mammal total to 8.

Red Fox

Muntjac Deer

Then there were  couple of amphibians. A Common Toad that was found in the flower bed...

Common Toad.

... and a Smooth Newt that was found under a paving slab that I lifted.

This is my pet newt. I called her Tiny. Why? Because she was my newt!!! My newt... minute... geddit? LOL ROFL etc. Oh never mind.

Last night we twitched the Pectoral Sandpiper at Manor Farm, finally seeing one of the good waders that have visited there, by the time we got there it was getting dark and the distance meant no usable photographs were possible,

As if that wasn't all exciting enough, the last couple of days a Great Egret has been staying on the lakes. But we could not see it from the cottage. Tonight, after a suggestion form local birder Rob Norris that it might be roosting at Linford (HESC) and therefore would fly past our cottage, we kept vigil.

A Little Egret got us going, as did a silhouette of a Grey Heron. Elis went downstairs to get some wine (seriously stressful this birding from the bedroom window) and when she did the bird appeared. It was low over the willows.  I called to her turning my head away as I did so and when I returned my gaze I could no longer see the bird! A tantalising wait to see if it would appear from behind the willows became an agonising wait and still nothing.

Not the greatest shot of a Great Egret, but good enough, what a 'garden' tick. Not sure why it flew with its beak open most of the time.

Then Elis spotted a heron/egret flying high. It was our bird, it must have flown almost directly upwards from where I saw it to get that high. We watched it fly over the motorway and then begin to drop down towards HESC as Rob had suggested. What a garden tick! (63).

I like living here!