Sunday, 5 December 2010

Goosanders Galore at Gayhurst

An interesting walk around Gayhurst Quarry and Quarryhall today.
 The track down to the pits provided the usual fare, with Finches of the Green, Gold, Chaff and Bull variety,a few Reed Buntings are now back at the feeders in the garden of the last house, where a Treecreeper scaled the side of an old Silver Birch.
 At the Wood an unusual call for these parts had me looking around the treetops to see a Nuthatch, - a site first for me.
 Fishing Pit was largely frozen except for a section in the middle where seven Goosanders were the only birds on the water. This was a site record as far as I was concerned - my previous best being five-, but only for a matter of minutes as another nine flew in and landed. They seemed to be actually fishing under the ice, but got bored quickly and all sixteen flew off together.
 A dead Swan on the ice of Spinney pit had me concerned for a while as I thought it may have been the Polish youngster, but it's black feet confirmed it wasn't, and I in fact found this family were fine and had relocated to Motorway Pit which was ice-free.
 Motorway Pit was rammed with Ducks, around 300 Wigeon, a similar number of Mallard and about a hundred Teal. The only diving Duck was a male Goldeneye, possibly the same one that was here last week.
 A very large flock of Greylag and Canada Geese were feeding on the potatoes that have been spread onto the fields between the rivers - an imminent shoot ?
 At Quarryhall, the Yellowhammer flock is building up with about 30 birds present, also a similar number of Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Three Tree Sparrows graced the hedgerow and a few Meadow Pipits were around.
 The Mute Swan flock were found just below the farm, but as yet there are no 'guests' within the herd.

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