Sunday, 17 January 2016

Mist Chances

Today I covered the same route as yesterday. My first encounter was with 4 diminutive finches which I'm sure were siskin, a local rarity for me. They sounded only once and then kept just out of sight in the heavy fog. Visibility was poor, so I wasn't confident I'd fill the gaps in my regular sightings list.

However, I soon caught up with 8 plump corn bunting, with their characteristic black thumb-print bib:

As I watched them float down from the tree and settle in the stubble field, I heard the noisy calls of whooper swan and I watched as two birds emerged from the fog, following the river down stream towards Morton. I came across another group of lesser redpoll; I've already seen more in 2016 than I did all last year. The gloom made a sharp photo impossible:

In the north of the patch, I set about finding the green sandpiper I'd heard yesterday and sure enough, this time I saw and heard it as it rose from the river and zigzagged upstream. Stopping off at the ox-bow lake, I came across an enormous flock of linnet, easily exceeding 200 birds. These images don't do justice to the number of these gregarious little finches:

Finally, I walked home through the fields, avoiding the road and hoping to kick up some partridge. Unexpectedly, a good day was topped off with 3 skylark, bursting from the set aside.

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