Sunday, 19 February 2017

Signs of Spring

Birds signing is a classic signal of an impending springtime, as is the recently blooming crocus and snow drop. But this time last year the daffodils had been out for a while.  Actually some birds have already been in song for sometime.
An early morning visit on a bright sunny day this week was rewarded with much song especially in the paddocks.  Song thrushes dominated with at least 9 in the middle sector reflecting decent breeding in the previous 2 years.
Dunnock were also well represented.  Strangely one bird, by the old bridge, has been singing for about 3 weeks but now many others joined in.
Not many robin's which seem to start a little later in the morning but they have been signing all winter.
Another winter singer can be the wren but this year they seemed to go quite before Xmas and have only recently started, but not full song.
Another curiosity is the blackbird which in the mid section does not sing till April but in the last week Geoff and I have each heard a signing bird in a street garden.
Chaffinch has joined the party as have many great tots.
As far as wintering spices are concerned Redding are still with us, normally the flock only comes together in high wind, fog or late in the day and numbers 40ish.  This group's frequents the mid section and dispersed around the adjoining gardens.  Another larger flock feeds with fieldfare at the southern end.
My recent visit gave me both siskin and red poll.  Flocks around 20 of two species which have been scarce this year.
Two spices more associated with breeding appeared towards the end of January, a chiffchaff by Wightwicl lock and a female blackcap visiting 2 gardens in Crowther rd.
Otherwise a wasp on friday whilst the gulls behaved as if they were catching insects and the parakeets bursting out of an ivy covered bush right in front of me whilst the ground was frozen.
What we haven't been seeing is kingfisher and greywagtail which may sought warmth further south and in the town centre respectively.
Finally on Friday afternoon at least 6, probably 7 or even 8, buzzards were soaring very high between Oxley and Newbridge.

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