Saturday, November 22, 2008


The feeders

Rather a lot of snow today so the planned seawatching was a non-starter. In the garden House Sparrow was exceptional, I think the last one here was probably about 18 months hence. Another rarity was Starling, often seen flying past and over but very rarely do they come in to the feeders as 7 did today.

The fed

By early afternoon the snow had mostly melted off the road thanks to the gritter wagon so a trip to chilly Scaling Dam looked possible. Scaling is often good in a northerly or other "bad" weather with odds and ends dropping into shelter. 25 Cormorant were a record for me there I think and two flew over the road and in as I left. 189 Great Black-backed Gulls were also a very good count. But the hoped for Common Gull roost didn't materialise with about 200 flying out late afternoon leaving a paltry 168. Black-headed Gulls totalled about 40. There were 13 Wigeon, 135 Teal, 4 Goldeneye and otherwise not very much. I was happy to stay until dusk, however, but well before then it started to snow and when it hadn't stopped after half an hour I thought I'd better go. Too late. The main road was a crawl and when I turned off I realised also too late that hadn't been a very good plan. A slow graceful slide into a ditch didn't do any damage but I'll be needing to borrow a tractor tomorrow methinks. Fortunately I was well prepared with kit and rucksack but didn't have to walk too far as I was soon offered a lift - very many thanks. But birding probably curtailed tomorrow.

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