Monday, 25 March 2013

It's bleak out there

For goodness sake it's the 25th of March. We had 36 hours of continuous snow over the weekend and the temperature isn't due to get much above freezing all week.
 With our RSPB field trip to Norfolk being cancelled yesterday I decided to stay local and walked the fields close to home.
 In truth I didn't see too many birds, but one that did catch my eye was a Buzzard sitting in the snow a few hundred yards ahead that flew off as I approached.
 I didn't think too much of this but as I got nearer to that spot I could see the shape of something on the ground. It looked like a Partridge and I expected that too to take to the air when I got too close.
 It didn't and as I managed to walk ever closer I thought it too good an opportunity not to photograph it.

However it soon became apparent that all was not well with this bird as every now and then it would twitch unaturally and it obviously hadn't bothered to shake off the snow that had collected on the side of it's face.
There didn't seem to be any sign of 'Buzzard damage' so I wondered if it was just suffering from the cold.
 I managed to pick up the bird with no trouble and decided to take it home to warm up but unfortunately when I checked on it a couple of hours later it had passed away.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Keep Quiet and they won't know we're here !

I thought this mildly amusing on a visit to a very murky Emberton Park yesterday as these 2 Canada Geese sussed out the roof of the hide as to whether it was a suitable nest site.

 I also came across this drake Mandarin on the main lake. He was trying very hard to impress a female Mallard, whose mate was less than amused.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Kempston Mandarin

The recent prolonged cold weather has meant that local Mandarin Ducks have been slow to return to their regular breeding areas.
The Kempston Mill part of the River Ouse used to hold several birds  but over the last few years the numbers dwindled and for a couple of years there haven't been any seen.
 So I was pleasantly surprised to see this smart male there last week.