Wednesday, 29 December 2010

More thaw

It managed to stay above zero during the night so things are continuing to thaw. I had to pop into the town centre first thing but as I got there a tad too early I wandered down to the riverside until the shops opened.  The river was running high and fast but clear of the ice it had recently. Along the South Burn 2 Dippers had paired up and the male was singing. In fact there was quite a bit of song with a couple of Robin, 4+ Dunnock and a Great Tit also singing this morning. The feeding station was lifting with wildfowl -

The feeding station was lifting with wildfowl.

22 Canada Goose, 139 Mute Swan, 27 Goosander, 498 Mallard, 4 Cormorant, 144 Tufted Duck, 1 Whooper Swan, and a female Mandarin.

 1 of 144 Tufted Duck I counted this morning
Opposite a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a small flock of Long-tailed Tit were in the riverside trees whilst by the play area another flock of Long-tail Tits  and 45 Siskin were feeding in the Alders. No sign of a Kingfisher today however.
A little later I found myself in Chester Moor where there was another Long-tailed Tit flock and with more at the South Burn Wood entrance, it looks like many have come through this cold spell relatively unscathed. Also at Chester Moor were about a dozen mixed Redwing and Fieldfare  in the hedgerow and a good count of 22 House Sparrow.

Chester Moor still has a good population of House Sparrow
A single Grey Heron flew over  and another patch of Alder held 64 Siskin but they were off as soon as I stopped and raised my binoculars.
By the time I got home the temperature was reading 4C and with little patches of green appearing through the thawing snow and ice and several species of bird in song it was almost spring-like!

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