Sunday, 11 October 2015

Autumn Arrives

After yesterday's ringing session at Linacre, I thought it was about time I got down there again to do some "birding". In the end, I had a couple of hours from 7- 9am, and recorded some decent birds!

The "best" birds of the session were a flock of 7 Wigeon that were on the top reservoir this morning. Since I started recording the bird life of Linacre Reservoirs in 2006, I've only had 9 previous records of this species, so a flock of this size was quite a surprise. They were quite vocal, but unfortunately for me and my camera, they stubbornly refused to move from the centre of the reservoir, so the only half decent record shot I could get of 6 of them, was this one (sorry!!)

Wigeon (honestly)

Along with the Wigeon, I also managed to see a couple of Teal. Again, this species is pretty uncommon at Linacre, with just 16 previous records (since 2006). There 2 birds present on the middle reservoir today, and I managed to get this awful "record shot". I think it's a juvenile bird, due to the yellowy, orange colouration on the beak.

Teal (juvenile)

Other water birds present this morning were: Mallard (57), Tufted Duck (21), Mandarin Duck (26), Coot (3), Moorhen (4), Grey Heron (2), Grey Wagtail (1 heard) Kingfisher (2 flying together on the top reservoir) and Canada Goose (9 first thing).

More cooperative and photogenic were the first returning Black-headed Gulls of the winter. There were 6 birds present today, and they allowed me to get much closer and get a few photos, including this one that was "yawning". Do birds yawn??

Black-headed Gulls

As well as the water birds there were also good numbers of  birds in the woods, including a lovely mixed tit flock of Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits. Siskins were also heard, but not seen. A Mistle Thrush was feeding on Rowan berries by the top reservoir, where a Kestrel was being harassed by a Carrion Crow.

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