After only seeing a Greenfinch new for the year here on Monday, one was singing along the river today. A Chaffinch was also attempting a song but didn't quite make enough effort!
A female Pochard was on the reservoir today and is new for the year (and a male was reported to me later in the day). It generally stayed with the other wildfowl - the Mallards till they had left and then the Canada Geese. Pochard is always nice to see, with a few records at the most each year in recent years. It could be that this one has moved in from a now frozen pool or maybe it is just making it's way back north. Two Goosanders also flew through, going north, just before I went into the wood so it was lucky I saw them. A Yellowhammer also went over calling and is the latest addition to the year list.
In the wood the roaming feeding flock was feeding in the trees near the river in the warm morning sunshine. The Willow Tit was one of the first birds I saw, feeding in the dead branches of Alder trees or in the thick new growth around the trunks. It spends a lot of time pulling moss off the branches or chiselling into dead wood to find food.
I was happy to find the three Chiffchaffs in the same area - the Siberian race and two Common. As I watched them I realised just how much time they spent feeding very close to, or actually on, the ground. I assume any insects in the ground layer were warming up, becoming more active and easier to find. It wasn't just the Chiffchaffs doing this, many of the tits were doing it too and quite a lot were just moving around on the ground. The only time they seemed to go up to the trees was when the Sparrowhawk buzzed through the wood, which it did at least four times and after that the birds seemed to disappear. The wood fell to almost silence and even though I tried I couldn't locate the birds again.
This is no Farmoor, Otmoor or Port Meadow. This is Grimsbury. It's Grim up north!
There is a running total year list in the link above.
Please send in your bird sightings to the B.O.S. and/or to me directly for inclusion on the blog. If you have some photos you would like to contribute please let me know (contact via the comments box on the right if you do not have my email already). Thank you.