Tuesday, 30 December 2014

It finally arrived

Tuesday 30 December 2014

The Snipe just made it before the end of the year bringing my 2014 total on the Watercress beds up to 65, just one short of last year's total. Still, one more day to go!

It was too quick for me to photograph so here's another one of the Green Sandpiper.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Getting colder

Sunday 28 December 2014

Still waiting for Snipe to find the Watercress Beds - perhaps after another couple of frosts. The only new bird that seems to have discovered the warm water was this Black-headed Gull.

Still can't get close to the Kingfisher - this is the best I could do.

Slightly closer to the Green sandpiper.

Didn't bother photographing the Water Rail which was, yet again, skulking in the shadows under the Privet bush.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Farm survey

Friday 26 December 2014

Nothing to get excited about though I never remember so many Chiffchaffs alongside the Preston Crowmarsh sewage works. Although 1 or 2 are normal overwinterers I counted 6 and there could easily have been more.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Late sighting

Tuesday 23  December 2014

Little around at Ewelme and the best sighting of the day was a Red Admiral apparently trying to break into our Benson conservatory.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

More of the same - mainly

Sunday 21 December 2014

Usual culprits at the Watercress Beds with Green Sandpiper and Kingfisher (2) of note though the Water Rail is proving elusive. To give the camera some exercise took this of a Candlesnuff Fungi.

Back home I was pleased to see this Blackcap in the garden - although they have been at the Watercress Beds on and off for months this is the first one in the garden. Somewhat surprisingly, soon after, it was joined by another - both males.

 Also a Wren having a bath.

Friday, 19 December 2014


Friday 19 December 2014

Very quiet on the Watercress Beds with little to see in the warmer weather. Most of the thrushes seem to have moved on which is not too surprising as virtually all of the haws have been eaten. Waiting now for a few more frosts on the Ivy berries before they are attractive.

This Redwing was hanging on - handsome bird though not the best of photos.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Great to be out but frustrating

Monday 15 December 2014

1st Frustration - A kingfisher that just wouldn't settle in the sunshine but preferred shadows.

 2nd Frustration - a Goldfinch - lovely bird but I was hoping for a Siskin on the Alder cones

I could go on with very flighty Green Sandpiper and Water Rail hiding under Privet bush but finally:-

Thought I would check Huntinglands for Golden Plover of which none so started counting Lapwing as there appeared more than the 277 when I last counted them. Managed to get through over half before they all took flight and when I looked down at my tally counter it had stopped on, would you believe 277.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Banker at long last

Saturday 13 December 2014

Back down to earth after the discovery of a Long-tailed Duck at Dorchester during my WeBS count last Monday but I paid for it by spending the next 4 days incapacitated with some sort of bug, the details of which you really don't want to know. I am afraid the best photo I could manage is, to say the least, embarrassing but here goes for what its worth.
To return to the title of this piece - the hard nights frost brought in a Green Sandpiper to the Watercress Beds - the first for 2014 and species number 64. Just been checking on the plusses and minusses compared to last year. On the plus side, Jay, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Skylark but on the negative side, Nuthatch, Redpoll, Siskin, Snipe, Teal and Treecreeper. Chances of adding two more to the list by the end of the year??????

On the way back counted the Lapwing at the top of the field, Huntinglands, and made it 277 with 5 Buzzards but no Golden Plovers. There were several very well camouflaged Skylarks though.