Saturday, 12 January 2008

Redwings - lots of them

A brief visit this afternoon in what felt like the first sunshine of the year. Gull numbers were slightly up on last weekend, with Black-headed Gull numbering 129 (plus more than 50 on the Boating Lake), Common Gull 14 (1 on the Boating Lake), but just two LBB Gull. The hoped for Med Gull failed to appear. 

The whole reservoir area was quite flooded after the recent downpours, with the water level at the Conservation Pond too high to make Water Rail seem worth more than a couple of minute's search. 

Instead I headed to the the animal enclosures at the top of the Park, where Bob had seen a Siskin around lunchtime. No sign of the Siskin, but my first Redwing of the year were decent compensation, with 15 or so vocal birds in the area, at one point spooked by a Sparrowhawk. I've always loved to hear calling Redwings - a sound so redolent of Autumn days on the coast when easterly winds have worked their magic. 

I walked back down the hill via the pitch and putt, pausing for a brief chat with Alan (another year tick). Here was a much larger group of Redwing, numbering at least 60 birds, feeding on the lush fairways. I saw another solo bird later in the cricket scrub as the light faded.

My Ally Pally list has now soared to 37, doubtless leaving me firmly in 5th place.