Saturday, 10 December 2011

Where Have All The Whoopers Gone ?

Saturday morning and didn't arrive till 10ish due to a bit of last minute Christmas shopping and handing my application into Nexus for my Bus Pass which I will be eligible for on 5 Jan 12 which is 329 days after my 60th Birthday but due to the new increase in the pension age everything is being "staggered" back to bring men into line with females (I always thought men were brought into line by females anyway).  So I went for a walk round with Alan J and the pond was already showing large swathes of ice which seems to bring the Mallards out in force with 122 of them on the pond/ice.  

The Whooper count has now reduced to 2 over the last couple of days since the wind became wild and woolly although Alan thinks that the weed from the pond has been blown to the edges, which is forming rather large piles (see the picture at the end) and as this seems to be the main source of food he suspects that this is the cause for the Whoopers departure

Also on the pond were 119 Wigeon, 5 Shoveller, a couple of Tufted Duck, 5 Goldeneye and 50 Teal.  There was also Coot, Cormorant although the Mute Swan adult count has reduced to 12 but the Sygnet count has gone up to 13.  

From the 1st Hide we could see a few geese behind the trees over on the fields across the lake, 2 of which looked like White Fronted Geese so off we set on a walk round to try and get a better look at them.  Despite the very strong winds over the last few days, as we walked round we only found 1 tree had gone over, fortunately it didn't have a nest box on it.

We disturbed a couple of coveys of Pheasants, a couple of flocks of Redwings and a few Fieldfare, caught a glimpse of a Little Owl but carried on at a much faster walking pace than normal in case, yet again, the Geese had flew onto the pond whilst we were walking round.

At last we got to thefinal field they could be in and thankfully they were.  We eventually got a count of 8 Adults and 1 Juvenile White Fronted and 137 Greylag Geese

Here is the weed that I mentioned above and it is quite widely piled up around the bottom (East) end of the pond

Completing our walk round we came across 6 male Bullfinches and 3 Females, the most I have ever seen here.  Also spotted were a couple of Treecreepers

Nice quiet walk round only bumping into about 3 or 4 members of the public but no birders/photographers although we did see John Ds wagon on our way out.
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