I had a few free hours yesterday afternoon so I took advantage of the dry weather to drive through the local country lanes stopping off at a few places.
First port of call was Shustoke Reservoir which was fairly quiet birdwise and I only saw canada goose, coot, mallard, black-headed gull and pochard during my brief visit. A few jackdaws were seen as I drove through the village of Whitacre and a pair of mute swans were on a pool near Lea Marston. No sign yet of any activity at the rookery near this village and there were no birds to be seen in the nearby churchyard. I finished off by having a look around the nearby Business Park. There are still plenty of berries especially near the entrance to Ladywalk Nature Reserve and there was a lone blackbird standing guard on one of the bushes but still no sign of those elusive waxwings!
I spotted my first moth of the year on Wednesday evening - a winter moth on the kitchen window.
Had several visits this morning from a starling (another new garden species for the year) visiting the feeding station. This species has shown a real decline in the garden in recent years. Checking my records on the BTO Garden Birdwatch shows that in 1999 starlings visited the garden in 40 weeks out of 52 but in 2010 starlings visited in just 5 weeks out of 52. House sparrows have not fared so badly as, although numbers are far lower than in the past, we still get daily visits of up to 10 individuals.
There are a few spots of colour in the garden as wild primroses (Primula vulgaris), are developing buds, winter jasmine is in flower and primulas, heather and winter flowering pansies and violas in pots are flowering.
2011 Garden Bird List = 20 species
2011 General Bird List = 40 species
2011 Garden Moth List = 1 species
Diary Update #30
4 hours ago