Saturday, 11 February 2012

Winter thrushes in the garden!

Local patch: I had a nice couple of hours birding at home today. The wind from NE was still very strong, temperatures were low (-6 to -3 degrees C) and I also had to study, so I decided to remain "safely" indoors. After the flock of Fieldfares I had a few days ago over Kontovel, I thought it might be a good idea to have a look around and see if something passes by. And indeed there was quite a lot of movement. Fieldfares seemed to be a bit everywhere. I noticed the first flock of 22 birds flying over Barcola at 12.30 am. Many others followed; presumably in more than one flock. The biggest count was of 40 birds flying E over the coast. Later a group of about 20 birds was sticking around the edge of the deciduous woodland a few hundred meters behind my home. I had some prolonged views on perching birds as well, even if far. But then in the afternoon two birds landed in the garden and gave much closer views (terrible pic above). Tomorrow I'll have to put out some food for them... hopefully they'll revisit.
All these birds are probably part of a biggest invasion that started a few days ago with the cold winter spell. Other thrushes seemed to be on the move as well: a MISTLE THRUSH was also great to see around. I spotted it when it landed on a wire in front of the house and when it perched on a bush. If I don't go wrong, this is just the second time I see a Mistle Thrush in the garden (even if they're common in the woods). Today I also noted major numbers of Blackbirds feeding on ivy berries - presumably migrants from the north.
Apart from the thrushes there was also a Common Buzzard around today, 1 Dunnock on the lawn with 7 Chaffinches, usual Blue Tit on the fatball and a male Blackcap.
Later I turned my attention to the sea and was amazed to find a Black-throated Diver swimming not far from the coast. It remained in the area quite shortly though. Four Great Crested Grebes were also on the sea, along with a fly-by adult Common Gull. Yesterday a Black-necked Grebe was in the small bay as well.