Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Elusive Shrike

Overcast, light snow, 0°, little wind.
Walked down to Cholsey marsh at first light this morning (roads in village very icy) and spent 2 hours looking for the Shrike but unfortunately not found. However quite a lot going on including plenty of boat crews out sculling on the Thames (they must be as mad as me being out at that time of day and in poor weather).
Brian and Roger Wyatt were both searching the area on the “Stoke” side of the river for the Shrike but no luck with them also but around 50 Common Snipe in the field there.
However the Great Grey Shrike was seen at 13:45 in the same place as yesterday but not since, I guess it is ranging over a wide area and best looked for on the "Stoke" side of the river.
Anyway back to the marsh, around twenty Teal flushed off the river by the boats and a few on the marsh on the unfrozen areas, also twenty plus Common Snipe present. Two Grey Heron and three Cormorant flying upriver.
The Cetti’s Warbler seen briefly but again very active and calling also a Chiffchaff with a Tit flock that passed through, and a Great-spotted Woodpecker on the other side of the river “drumming”.
At least five Siskin seen and heard flying over and eventually seen feeding on the bank side Alders and up to five Lesser Redpoll feeding on seed heads from plants on the marsh and numbers of Meadow Pipit feeding on the frozen surface of part of the marsh, a couple of Bullfinch heard calling.
Several Corn Bunting still present on the marsh including one singing also several Reed Bunting present and feeding with the Meadow Pipits.
Both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk seen and a Nuthatch seen and heard in the trees along Ferry Rd.
The Eastender reports four Lesser Redpoll on nyger seed feeders in the garden for around a month now and a Reed Bunting present yesterday.
Cholsey Brook had a Cormorant, two Common Snipe, two Meadow Pipit, three Teal, four Mallard and ten Lapwing in an adjacent field.
Richard has seen a Ruff in a field next to the Bunk line along with a lot of Common Snipe and several Lapwing; presumably the Ruff is the one that was wintering on the South Moreton floods (dont often get Ruff in Cholsey a rarity for here).
Three more new birds for the year in Cholsey today, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch and Ruff.
The garden this morning very much the same as yesterday.

Lesser Redpolls

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