Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve Bits....

A lovely sunny day today had me deciding to do a couple of local sites and i started proceedings at the extensive Twigmoor Woods.I had come here in the remote chance of finding at least some Common Crossbill's,but had dreamed of bumping into some Two-barred's or Parrot's.As i left the car a nice surprise in the form of a Nuthatch was watched at the car park feeders along with a loads of Coal Tit,some of which were incredibly tame coming to the feeders even when i was stood right next to it,lovely little woodland sprites they are too.I covered the whole of the woodland and not even got a sniff of a Crossbill sp.,the only birds i came across were a hand full of Siskin and Bullfinches.Sadly this once productive site is a shadow of it's former self due to the amount of disturbance it now gets from dog walkers and mountain bikers,a real shame as over the years it has produced some good birds including Redstart,Common Crossbill,Lesser Pecker and Hawfinch.
 After enjoying the walk around Twigmoor,i travelled the short hop over to Messingham
Juv. Peregrine.

Juv. Peregrine,heavy crop.

Sunlit reedbed.

Female Siskin.

Female Siskin.


Mealie Redpoll.

Mealie Redpoll.
 Sand Quarries.I got several layers on had a quick drink and headed for Grebe lake first.As i walked down the path a Peregrine flew into view and i managed to get a few distant record shots before it landed on the pylon on the edge of Grebe lake and as i neared it flew and headed South west over the fields.After looking at my images of the bird,it was obvious it was a Juv. by the streaked underparts,but it looked much paler than any run of the mill Peregrines i had seen before,being particularly pale around the head and neck.It may be just a pale Juv. but there is always the possibility of it being one of the northern race.I continued around the reserve and came to the avenue of Alders near the old tool shed.Here there was a small mixed flock of Lesser Redpoll,Goldfinch and Siskins feeding in the Alders and two cracking Mealies in amongst them.I managed a few record shots of them,but it was hard work as they bounced and swayed about in the branches due to the strong south west wind.It was great to see these northern stunners and i also enjoyed some great views of the Siskins as well.I continued around the remainder of the reserve and up to the duck hide,but there was very little here,with hardly any wildfowl,so i retraced my tracks back to the area where the Polls and Siskins had been,but sadly they had gone.I wandered back to the car and made my way home after a pretty enjoyable few hours out and about.