Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Home and Away

With Nichola working today, I was constrained for the morning and early afternoon so no birding - though I managed yet more Waxwings on the way into town. Otherwise there were a few bits from the garden during a very entertaining half hour or so. We had some bright sunshine and blue skies, and whilst venting some frustration by whacking the kids new drums (rhythmically) I noticed a couple of Long-tailed Tits drop onto my fat balls. I grabbed the camera to try and get a few shots and vid ...

.. however whilst doing this I noticed that a single Coal Tit was milling about. Remember how this was a garden tick a few weeks ago - well this was the first sighting since. I moved my attention to it and grabbed some stunning video - a full one second of it ....

The Long-taileds showed again in better light a few minutes later.

Not long after the Coal Tit departed, a Great Spotted Woodpecker dropped into the tree but it flatly refused to show well or come to the feeder. You can clearly see it in this shot .....

Otherwise it was standard garden fare, though a couple of Bullfinches on the embankment and Goldfinches on the feeders joined the Coal Tit as additions to the OFFH year list. A few smartly lit Starlings were constantly around - I'll post a series of shots separately.

Wall Accentor


Later this afternoon, I headed to Aylestone Meadows again. I'd picked up news of a Short-eared Owl earlier in the week and decided to have a look - more in hope than expectation.

You could imagine a Shortie knocking about in this rough grassland - more surprising that this habitat is within Leicester City. Despite giving a good hour and a half until it was more dark than dusk, no sign of any owls. Not sure exactly where it was seen on Thursday, or whether it was hunting or just passing through. The visit was not entirely fruitless though, as I added Kestrel, Pheasant and Green Woodpecker to the City yearlist. Also five flyover Goosanders - seem to be almost obligatory along the soar in winter.

Coming home, as I pulled into my Close I saw a Fox milling about in a neighbours front garden. I got out of the car with the camera - fully expecting the Fox to scarper - however it carried on its business. As I approached, taking a few poor shots on the way, it tried to hide by lying flat on a front lawn before ambling off to another garden. Another couple of shots and it seemed to head off - however as I walked up my driveway I saw it was c3 meters away from me on my front garden staring right at me ....

Not once did it bite my leg off or enter the house to terrorise the kids. I even got Josh and Alex out of the house to noisily have a look and it was not bothered. After a few minutes it did head off up the embankment. This is only the second one I've seen in the Close/garden.

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