Poppies at Sedgeford
The weather was pretty miserable today, cold, continuous rain and grey skies. All the good birds turned up east, so I decided to try and find my own and failed. I didn't fancy walking in the rain, so cruised round in the car and stopped off at various places, to see what I could find. At Sedgeford I found a beautiful field of poppies – nearby was an extra wide strip of set-aside – close to where the dung heaps are (Blue-headed Eastern Yellow Wagtail spot) which held a good selection of birds, including: 2 Song Thrushes, several Blackbirds, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Linnets, Robins and Red-legged Partridges. A Kestrel and a Pied Wagtail was seen close to the dung heaps and a Blackcap was singing.
At Choseley Drying Barns there was very little to see, apart from 2 Wood Pigeons, a Magpie and Pied Wagtail – never seen so few birds here. Headed towards Wells and drove along the quayside to view the feeders, where I once saw a spectacular adult Rose-coloured Starling (click on link for video and here for pictures) – sadly the feeders were empty and the stunning tree that was there, has now gone. A Little Egret was feeding in the muddy creek, nothing much else of note. I stopped off in the car park at North Point Pools, just to scan distantly for any possible Black-winged Stilts – you never know your luck! They were here last year!
Headed towards Warham and parked up by the seed hopper at the bottom of the track that leads up to Garden Drove. I spent a long time sitting here in my car, watching three Hares feeding and playing, oblivious to my presence. There was a nice little selection of birds feeding on seed by a large puddle, which included Blackbirds, Linnets, Chaffinches and Wood Pigeons. Continued up the track and watched some very cute and tiny baby Pheasant chicks with their mother and then parked up on the concrete pad. A Whitethroat was flicking around in the Alexander plants and a Swallow was perched on the dead tree by the pig fields. I walked along the track in the rain and to the copse at the north end. Only birds seen here were a few Long-tailed Tits, Robins x 2 and a Blackcap singing. The incoming tide was crashing on the shore distantly by East Hills and it looked like a grey Winter's day!
Stopped off at North Point Pools, Wells for a short while. Good selection of birds here, including: Spoonbills x 2, Egyptian Geese + young, Greylag Goose, Shelducks, Shoveler, Mallards + young, Black-tailed Godwits 30+, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls, Marsh Harrier, Avocets, Mute Swans and lots of Swallows and Sand Martins skimming low over the water.
The weather worsened, I gave up and drove home. I was very sad to find a juvenile Collared Dove dead on my bird table, when I got back. I had noticed that one of the youngsters was looking a bit sorry for itself over the last couple of days – how very sad. I wonder what happened? Disease or weaker sibling? Who knows. Not one of my best weekends, only saved by the Maple and Pecan Nut Loaf I made in the breadmaker this evening!