|Grey Wagtail (c.OOS)|
We certainly hit the ground running, with 30 species already recorded; that brings us well on our way towards our high of 36, with anything between 30 and 36 a good return for this large rural garden overvthe 13 week survey period. The weather hasn't been too remarkable one way or another, though we have had a few cold mornings down to - 3C. which brought in a party of Redwings and a flurry of Blackbirds.
The one clear gain this winter, for us, is the rise in the number of Goldfinches, up to 14 now and the drop in the number of Coal Tits: just a single bird when we usually host anywhere between 8 and 15 birds in winter. The former respond to the steady supply of Nyjer seed available, but the latters disappearance is puzzling: it will be very interesting to get the end of season story from across the country.
No sign of a woodpecker yet this winter and no patrolling Sparrowhawk, surely both will visit? A few species are literally borderline, such as Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting, but the Red Kites really do patrol the area, expecting to pick up a morsel.
The most welcome new winter visitor has been the regular appearance of a young Grey Wagtail. Though they occur on the local wooded streams, a favourite breeding habitat, it is a pleasure to watch this bird forage the gravel area on the warm westerly side of the house. In colder winters I suspect the Grey Wagtails might move downstream to slightly warmer conditions: they suffered in the cold winters of 2009/10.
|A young Grey Wagtail (c.OOS)|