Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thursday 7th January

6 inches of snow covered the ground first thing this morning and the sky was cloudless giving wonderful photo opportunities. Another 2 inches fell in an hour-long, blizzard-like, snow shower towards the end of my walk meaning that I finished the walk looking like a snowman!

Path leading to the Georgian Steps from the Old Walled Garden
(one of the best spots for Bullfinch)

The smaller birds were a lot more active today and 6 new species were added to my list for the year. 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker were drumming during my visit, 6 Goldcrests were noted, 4 Bullfinch were found, at least 15 Redwing and 1 Fieldfare passed through the park, a Nuthatch called from the trees near to the Carriage Bridge, and a Reed Bunting was in the young Oak trees on the southern edge of the Old Cattle Area (the large area of rough grassland).

View north-west from Cobtree Hall - note the snow clouds approaching!
(The land slopes down through the Old Cattle Area to the River Len and Lake)

A Mistle Thrush ‘rattled’ from the large Beech west of Mote House during the heavy snow shower – new for the year – 3 Meadow Pipits flew over, 2 Treecreepers were noted – with 1 bird heard singing by Mote Cottage, 3 Grey Herons were seen, a Little Grebe was seen on the stretch of river between the 2 bridges and a Water Rail was seen on the edge of the Pond opposite the Waterfall.

Little Grebe

By the time I had reached the Causeway on the Lake’s eastern edge, where the only ice-free water is, the heavy snow shower was at its most blizzard-like, and conditions for scanning the Lake were very hard.

Through snow-filled binoculars I managed to spot at least 24 Pochards and 12 Tufted Duck, 2 male Teal – new for the year – 2 Mute Swan, and 17 Canada Geese. The gull flock consisted of at least 67 Black-headed Gulls and 21 Common Gulls.

Snowy Canada Goose

Foot of Jenner's Bank
(The snow making the terrain appear level - which it isn't!)


Warren Baker said...

It was a difficult day to be out birding today Simon, but you seem to have done quite well, how on earth have you still got open water!

Kingsdowner said...

Great shots, and I especially like the Canada Goose en blizzard.

My memories of Mote Park are haunted by having to go on cross-country runs around it in weather like that.

Greenie said...

Simon ,
Great set of snowscapes .
The Cannon 100mm. Macro is the lens that I'm thinking of .
Better not meet up or people will think we are twins from our gear !

Next Event - TBA