Sunday, 1 March 2015

Birds at Winkworth, 23rd-27th February 2015

A changeable few days, weather-wise, with wintry showers and single figure temperatures one minute, and glorious sunshine and rolled-up sleeves the next. In short: a typical February week! A week in which I noted fifty-one bird species in or over the arboretum including Firecrest, Red Kite and only the second record of Egyptian Goose this year.

Down at Rowe's Flashe it was business as usual with Mallards, Tufted Ducks and Mandarins all present and correct, along with the usual pair of domestic Greylag Geese. We now appear to have a pair of Little Grebes, who are both beginning to look very smart as they moult into their breeding plumage, and have been very vocal all week. Pochards have been coming and going, peaking at two drakes and one female on Wednesday morning. The now regular flock of 8-10 Canada Geese was joined on Friday morning by two Egyptian Geese.

Goldcrests were displaying near the boathouse on Friday and, as I mentioned earlier, there were at least two Firecrests about in this area on Thursday morning, plus a possible third one in the Holly Wood in the afternoon.

Birds of prey were represented this week by Sparrowhawk and Buzzard - two of the latter soaring and calling over Rowe's Flashe Meadow on Friday morning - plus a Red Kite circling down in the valley just east of the arboretum on Wednesday afternoon.

Grey Wagtails were seen most days, a male often singing by the boathouse first thing in the morning.

Mandarin Ducks

female Pochard

Egyptian Goose


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