Saturday, 21 November 2015

Linacre- First Snow and a New Species!!

The weather this Autumn has been much milder than usual with temperatures up to 15 degrees in the first few weeks of November, but last night the temperature dropped down to 1 degree and we had the first snow of the winter. I headed down  down to Linacre this morning to get a few pictures of the snow and to see if the cold snap had brought anything exciting in. I wasn't disappointed, with a few nice snow pictures and a brand new species for Linacre - SHAG!!


I'd walked all around the site, and was just heading back to the car when I spotted the Shag, a young bird, swimming and fishing around the overflow on the middle reservoir. I noticed it because it was smaller and slimmer than the usual Cormorants. I also noticed that it was jumping clean of the water when it dived, whereas Cormorants tend to slip under the water when diving. I managed to get a few record shots, and I'm pretty sure I saw 2 different birds fishing together.


I left the site at 11.30am, put the news out on the BirdGuides website and over the course of the afternoon, reports of 4 and then 8 Shags were reported!!! One bird was good, 2 was great, but 4 and 8 together must have been pretty special. 

As well as the Shags, I also counted the following: Mallard (106), Tufted Duck (49), Little Grebe (1), Great-crested Grebe (3), Coot (3), Moorhen (8), Grey Wagtail (1), Cormorant (2), Grey Heron (1) Kingfisher (2), Mandarin Duck (6 - where have they all gone???) and Black-headed Gull (c.60).

The woods were quite quiet, but I did see a Great-spotted Woodpecker, several Blue, Great and Coal Tits, several Nuthatch and this very confiding Robin, that was after the sunflower hearts in my pocket!


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