Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A new year but not started with a bang.

Back with a new year but not a big bang. It's been a quiet couple of months, hence the lack of activity on this blog and today wasn't much of an improvement. I was up before dawn, walked down to the Riverside, along the river and the A167 to Chester Moor, then the Fell and woods. Unlike last year I didn't get wet but it was cold and windy and the only plant in flower noted was Gorse.

Gorse - always in flower on the 1st day of the year
Very hard work for 41 species with a number of common species in hiding today. No Buntings, Wren or Coal Tit and there was no sign of the Whooper Swan on the river either. The park was very wet with the river lapping onto the adjacent path. I was told that same path was under water yesterday and  the level has dropped considerably in the last 24 hours. Goosanders were very prominent today, all along the river. In fact I had three flying over Chester Farm before I even got to the river this morning. Despite the high levels a Dipper flew by and did a sharp turn up the Cong Burn but no Cormorant.  The little wildlife area produced the only Jay and 13 Goldfinch of the day as well as a Grey Squirrel but the little pond there is certainly not little at the moment. 
38 Curlew were feeding in a flooded field alongside the road as I headed off.
6 Grey Partridge were nice as this species is no longer common around here (or anywhere these days)  but there are still a few about. They may well have been the birds of the day.

Pheasant and Grey Partridges

A skein of 15 Grey Lag Geese flew over the fell when I arrived but generally not much else.  I called it a day by 11:25 and  finished knackered.

Grey Lag over the fell

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