Sunday, 17 January 2016

With freezing temperatures, no wind and sunshine forecast for today, I was out of the house this morning at 5.45am where I drove over to Nethergong and parked up at the bridge to listen from the car. I was hoping to hear maybe a Tawny and Little Owl but despite much listening, I failed to hear any call. All was not wasted though as in the dark I heard 1 Wigeon (64) a few Teal (65) flew over calling and 1 Snipe. Around 6.45am and still very much dark, I took a walk along the northern boundary up towards the gate. As I walked up towards the lake, I could hear more Teal calling and quite a few duck taking to the wing. Moving on I was pleased to hear 1 Tawny Owl (66) calling nearby and a scan of the tree line revealed the Owl sitting on top of an ivy covered bush before it flew off into the darkness. I finally reached the gate where I hoped a Woodcock would be seen coming into roost but this never materialized. Whilst at the gate, I picked out a Barn Owl flying up the stream towards me and it passed by only a few metres from me before realising I was there. It continued to hunt for a while giving nice views. Around me I could hear 3 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Skylark (67) 4 Water Rail, 3 Grey Heron flew from their roost tree, 2 Pheasant, 3 Snipe called as they flew over and c620 Cormorant flew north as the light picked up. Having to drop my daughter off at dance at 10am, I walked back to the car where I heard 1+ Bearded Tit, 1 Treecreeper provided a nice photo opportunity, 12 Meadow Pipit, 2 Marsh Harrier, 18 Fieldfare, the Coot was still on the lake with 2 Mallard and 1 Common Gull (68) was in a flooded field at the entrance.


Having done my jobs at home, I returned at 11am where I spent a couple more hours walking around the site. By now the sun was starting to shine and the temperature had somewhat warmed up. Birds I noted were 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Ring necked Parakeet, 2 Jay, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Siskin, 5 Yellowhammer, 2 Little Egret, 2 Stonechat and 1 Feral Pigeon (69) flew north. I was on my second circuit when I noticed a group of Swans flying north distantly. A quick look through the binoculars proved interesting and so I rattled off a few shots on the camera. Zooming in on the back of the camera confirmed my suspicions as they were 11 Bewick's Swans (70), the first time I have seen this species here and a bonus species for the year. No prizes for the photos but they give the impression of smaller, short necked and smaller billed Swans.

Bewick's Swans 

The only other birds noted were 1 Peregrine, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker and 1 Lapwing in with the gull flock in the fields. A really great session and despite the small site, it certainly continues to turn up some good birds and the 100 species is well on target.


  1. 70 species already Marc!
    I think you're target of 100 willl come before you thought!

    The best total I have achieved in January is 68, thats in 14 tries, you have beaten that with one effort, just goes to show how hard my patch is LoL

    1. All this and really the site is only c700 m long and c170m wide. It does have nice views on 3 sides over looking fields but I think thats still pretty good.

  2. Wow, you caught the Treecreeper very well, excellent shot.