Sunday, 28 February 2010

28th February 2010

A super day! I was walking along Fulford Hall Road during the morning when I heard a call that sounded somewhat familiar and I thought "no it can't be", but it was - a male Yellowhammer singing from the top of a tree at Fulford Heath! This is only my second sighting of this species in the Earlswood area, since I saw 3 birds together one morning last year, so I was really pleased!

I'd hoped to meet Clowes Wood warden Ron Hill for some volunteer work, but I was a bit late (due partly to the yellow bird!) and it turned out he wasn't there, and as I was late and a newcomer I didn't want to bother the volunteers (who were busy with the good work they do) anymore than I had already. So I went on to the lakes, where my day got even better! Approaching Terry's Pool, I had a poor view of two ducks flying over the water/trees, and something about them made me think they weren't Mallards, so I made sure I kept an eye on the airspace in case they flew over again (the Gadwalls I saw last year were rather flighty). Sure enough, they flew over a little later and with better views I realised they were a pair of Mandarin Ducks! Later still they landed on Terry's distantly and so I hurried back to get closer views, which I got but these birds were wary - the male was the first I'd seen at the lakes. Terry's Pool also held 2 Shovelers (patch year tick!), a male Pochard and up to 19 Goosanders, so I guess there'd been some duck movement in the night; and the usual Kingfisher. Great Crested Grebe numbers had risen to 10, and 4+ Mute Swans were also at the lakes.

I texted a couple of birders, and John Yardley came out to see the Mandarin Ducks during early afternoon. They showed for him, whilst I had better views of them than before. At Windmill Pool, the 2 Shovelers had relocated there, and the Muscovy Duck also showed - wonder how long this bird will stay?

John Sheppard photographed these beauties today:

Great Crested Grebes (© John Sheppard)

M.P. Griffiths


midlands birder said...

hi matt
great finds there......
p.s. could you txt me if the mandarins are still there nxt sat, back to the gardening job again(weather permitting)

Matthew Griffiths said...

Hi Craig,
Yep, certainly. I'll probably be at the lakes during the morning.
Kind regards,