Friday, 3 February 2012

February 3rd 2012

Deary me, two weeks since my last sightings post - how time flies! However, only a few notable birds have visited since then. Today, ice covered much of the lakes; a pair of Wigeon were at Windmill Pool and an adult Common Gull was at Engine Pool, and Tony Philp informs me that the long-staying Little Grebe remains at Terry's Pool. Yesterday, I had a pair of Gadwall at Engine Pool, which Tony later relocated at Terry's, but there was no sign of any today. The female Mandarin Duck has been seen on-and-off (lastly on 30th), and a male also paid a two-day visit last month when the female was absent, though whether this was a different male to the one that joined the female earlier this winter I'm not sure. The Mandarins are rather elusive and it is very likely that they are being overlooked some days, so please report all sightings to me even if you think I've probably seen them. One other notable bird last month was a finch/bunting type which flew quite high straight over Terry's Pool, which from the flight call appears to have been a Yellowhammer.

The best recent sightings have actually been mammals! I had a good view of a Field Vole at its burrow entrance along the main dam on the 30th, which was my first sighting of a live one, and saw a Bank Vole around Engine Pool in late January. However, Bob Roberts spotted a Weasel around Terry's Pool on the 29th, and subsequently Tony has had one sighting of it, managing this shot before a dog scared it. I've never seen one, so am very keen to see my first on-patch.

M.P. Griffiths

Weasel, Terry's Pool, 01/02/2012 (© Tony Philp)

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