Tuesday, 22 February 2011


I've been a bit under the weather for a while and to make things worse i've also been under the awful weather. Today I got out for a couple of hours and saw some nice birds, but as usual it was nearly dark for most of the time so I didn't get any pictures. I looked through my older photos looking for something nice to brighten the post and found these Lake District Red Squirrels. Just the job I think. And since I saw some squirrels today it's nearly not cheating.

One of several Cetti's Warblers was singing in the car park as I left the car, there were more heard around the site and one was seen briefly in the sunken marsh. Also heard in the marsh were several squealing Water Rails, I waited patiently for a glimpse of one but as usual they eluded me.

I was pleased to see that the female Goosander was still on Streamside lake but still no sign of the Red-head Smew. There were two Green Woodpeckers on the east scrub as well as a calling Great Spot, also one Song Thrush seen but no Redwing or Fieldfares. There was a female Goldeneye on Abbey Mead, pointed out to me by Geoff Burton who I met in the Country Park and surprisingly there were also seven Wigeon on the lake, number 69 for the Feb New Hythe list. In the SE corner of Abbey Mead I saw a Sparrowhawk which narrowly missed a Blackbird lunch, the only other raptor being a fine Kestrel which flew over Brooklands lake later on. As I made my way to finish off on my bucket seat in the small wood by the river I noticed a bit of activity in the NW corner of the marsh, this turned out to be a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and two Long-tailed Tits who were busy fly catching over the standing water which has lain in the marsh for some time now. The chiffchaff bought me nicely to 70 species for the month at New Hythe which is where I expect it to stay now I think.
From the bucket by the river I saw five Shelduck, a single Little Grebe, some Teal, much reduced numbers of Gadwall, two Redshanks and the usual Black-headed Gulls, who are very much starting to do what it says on their tin, i.e. having a black head, and very smart they look too.


Greenie said...

Phil ,
Those Red Squirrels certainly brightened up a grey day .
Hope you're back to full health soon .

Warren Baker said...

Hope you get up to full speed son phil.

70 species for February is an exceptional total. Just goes to show that there is still some good habitat there still - and of course a diligent recorder :-)

Bob Bushell said...

I'm sorry about your illness, and I'm really chuffed at the Red Squirrel, isn't he/she so precious.

Ken. said...

Hi Phil.
Sorry to hear that you haven't been too good. Glad to see you out and about again. Take care.

Chris said...

Excellent, looks like you got nice stuff in your archive ;-)

ShySongbird said...

That Red Squirrel is lovely!

Sorry to hear you haven't been too good, I'm sure this weather doesn't help, we will all feel much better I think when we get some warm sunshine.

I too have noticed the Black-headed Gulls are starting to look very smart again.

A nice read again Phil.

Paul said...

Hi Phil, crickey when i saw that Red Squirrel i thought you might have seen it local! Great photos by the way mate, and hope your back up to full speed soon enough.

Matti said...

Loistavia kuvia!
Linnut ja orava hyvät, terävät kuvat!

Sharon said...

Love the red squirrel Phil!
Hope you feel better soon - take care :)