Saturday, 12 January 2013

Open To-day...

Friday January 11
With snow and sub zero temps in an easterly weather system forecast from Sunday, I thought we'd better get on with it. It was still damp and chilly at Sculthorpe but the lack of wind and the shelter of the trees made it bearable.
A Marsh/Willow Tit fed briefly on the feeder beside the entry hut. My immediate reaction was Willow, a bull-neck impression and a clean white collar/cheek patch. I only saw it for two seconds and it didn't call.......inconclusive.
The Woodland Hide had at least 20 Bramblings feeding on the ground under the feeders, regularly spooked by the - apparently - unnecessary alarm call of the Blackbirds. About the tenth time this happened, we gave up photography and walked on, finding the Brambling, Chaffinch and tit flock on the ground under the trees, fleeing in front of us. One Marsh Tit fed on the feeders near the hideously named 'Old Gits Corner' bench. This one called as well as giving decent views. I still can't make out the pale based upper mandible which is the true diagnostic ID if not calling - whether or not it's present that is.
As we neared the stream and its surrounding Alders, 20+ Siskin swung upside down on treetop catkins and a Nuthatch called.
 Despite the full car park, there were only two birders in Whitley Hide, our favourite as it's the most reliable for good views and variety. They soon left and we sat for an hour enjoying the almost constant activity - Blackbirds spooking again. Two male Bullfinches, two Reed Buntings, a horde of Chaffinches, another dozen Brambling, one visit from a Marsh Tit,  a mere  two Blue Tits, one Great Tit and a foraging Water Rail. Appalling light but I just love taking photographs.....

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