Wednesday 16 December 2015

December doldrums

Lade - mild, overcast, sw 2 - I`ll come clean - December is my least favourite month of the year; nothing much happens birdwise, visitors are at their lowest ebb and then there`s Christmas around the corner... enough said.
Trudging round the local patch these past few days have been pretty samey, with a flock of 7 Shelducks yesterday the only `highlight`. On the plus side it has been ludicrously mild and in a moment of madness I even considered getting the shorts out! Around the willow swamp tits, crests and Chiffs had no trouble feeding on the clouds of midges, while back home in the garden several bumble bees were noted on the winter jasmine.
RSPB -It wasn`t much better on the bird reserve with no sign of any Smew on Burrowes or the Long-eared Owl behind the discovery pond, although the owl was reported later on. Over the road we managed to find a couple of Smew on ARC from the pines, and 2 Great White Egrets, but the main source of interest was a Great Spotted Woodpecker hammering away on a power line pole with great determination. By mid-afternoon the Mordor-like gloom and drizzle descended, sending us scuttling home for a brew.
The only other local news today came from Dungeness where up to three different Caspian Gulls were located amongst the roosting gulls (DW).

                                Great Spotted Woodpecker, ARC

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