"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 22 November 2010

Garden Update and Local Birding

As mentioned in the previous post there isn't a lot to report bird-wise from the garden. Most recent highlight was a "charm" of twelve goldfinches perched in the whitebeam tree yesterday. They are still visiting the feeders daily and also eating the silver birch seeds. I am keeping my eye out for lesser redpolls as this species often visits the garden at this time of the years to feast on the birch seeds too.

I had to take my daughter to Coleshill this morning so, whilst I was in the area, I visited a few local birding "hotspots". Shustoke Reservoir was first port of call - unfortunately it started to rain as I arrived so I just had a quick scan of the reservoir from the car park. Birds seen included mallard, pied wagtail, cormorant, black-headed gulls, canada geese, coot, tufted duck, dabchick, pochard and great crested grebe. No sign of the red-breased merganser that was reported there several days last week. Makes mental note to herself again to get out to these places as soon as unusual birds are reported and not leave it!

I then visited a nearby churchyard which has a lot yew and holly trees and, as I had hoped, they were covered in berries. There were a lot of birds flitting around the trees and flying over - magpie, robin, great tit, blackbird, greenfinch, great spotted woodpecker and redwings plus a grey squirrel which also appeared to be eating yew berries.

I would have stayed here for an hour or more but the place was like Paddington Station in the rush hour - people on bikes, transit vans, delivery men roaring past and a couple who arrived in separate cars and who didn't appear to be interested in wildlife!!! Very strange as the church is situated at the end of a lane which is a dead end!

Memorial at the Church to commemorate the visit of William Gladstone, Prime Minister, in 1905, to Hamms Hall. Some of the yew and holly trees visible in the background

Before going home I stopped off at the business park - the berries hardly looked touched so at some stage this winter they are going to prove a magnet for wintering thrushes etc. But not a sign of any birds on them today and certainly no waxwings! But again I had timed it badly as there were loads of lorries on the roads and there was a constant procession of cars from a distribution centre as, I assume, a shift ended. Talking of waxwings there have been reports of several seen yesterday at Brandon Marsh. I had already been suffering withdrawal symptoms from not having visited recently too. This week is not looking good for a visit though as daughter is on holiday and I shall be on call all week as a chauffeur!

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