I wasnt expecting to drop an additional blogpost today but it was so remarkable that I thought I must. Oh James, you really do spoil us! Im not what you would call an avid patch worker but over the last 4 years I have come to appreciate what my local countryside has to offer and have mentally formed a patch, even if I dont work it that hard. I even thought that after today I would outline the patch and the main areas in a google map.
View Patch in a larger map
So back to today - I had been slaving away at this machine trying to organise my work over the coming weeks and time had marched on. I decided to have a mooch round Nafferton Sewage Works and Nafferton Beck to see if the cold weather had brought any Woodcock or Snipe in. First stop the reedbed at the sewage works and a Snipe
explodes from the undergrowth. This is a great bird for the area and only my third record after two flushed from rank vegetation in a field margin. Hoping for a Jack Snipe I pressed on but to no avail. I changed tacks and walked along the beck.
|Track to the sewage works|
Nothing special initially but suddenly a cloud of white explodes from the stream. 3 Little Egrets
. Now you may poo poo this but bear in mind they are still pretty scarce around here and the stream is pretty small I was dead chuffed! No Cattle Egrets amongst them sadly. I may slate the bird at tophill but I would still like to find it here.
|Nafferton Beck - pretty small|
Pushing on I am surprised by a flock of 7 Siskin
and an additional bird flew over later. These were the 4th and 5th records for the patch although in all likelihood they are scarce but regular winter visitors but all have been in February thus far. A skein of distant geese could have been pinks or greylags. Less mysterious were 2 Greylags
that flew south along the beck. Surprisingly a Grey Heron
that floated south was a patch first, my second of the day after the Little Egrets. The resident Kingfisher
was seen hiding in vegetation fringing the beck. I was calming down when I had my mind blown. A Redshank
was feeding in the beck. Habitat all wrong (tree lined chalk stream) but there bold as brass, not 15 feet from me was a Redshank (in summer plumage as well). The snow really was bringing me presents. It was not all finished though as I walked back home a second Snipe flushed, this time from the sewage works stream that feeds the beck. Just mental.
I did a bit of working out and figured I had seen 90 species on patch since I moved in with 3 Crane and a Jay the best bits. Mostly the good stuff has been recent with a Marsh Harrier and 2+ Quail in the summer and a Peregrine this year. I must try harder! As a postscript I saw a rather excellent male Merlin
on wires just south of Langtoft when I went to collect Isabelle from my parents.