After a short cold snap the temperature has shot up again and we are having temperatures of more than 10°C during the day, the sort of temperature we’d be expecting to find in Spring.Today I visited Blashford Lakes for my first visit in a few weeks. It’s the woodland where all the action is at the moment as the birds make use of an easy source of food.
The most common species by the feeders were goldfinches. The niger feeder was nearly empty but they didn’t seem too bothered by this and were happy with the other seeds.
It was lovely to see lots of greenfinches too. They used to be one our most common garden birds but they seemed to have declined significantly and these days we rarely see them at all.
As you’d expect there were a fair few blue tits and the occasional great tit around the feeders too.
I noticed this female chaffinch on the base of the feeder which appears to have a significant eye injury- it looks like it may have lost it’s eye completely. It didn’t seem to hinder this individual though as it was feeding and flying around like all the other birds around it.
The robin seemed to have a different feeding tactic to most of the other birds, flying onto the feeder when it was quiet, quickly grabbing a seed and then flying away. I’m not sure why they do this considering that robins are one of the braver birds around- perhaps it’s just because they don’t like to be near other birds.
Elsewhere in the woods there were lots of blackbirds and some song thrushes rummaging through the leaf litter looking for food.
The lakes themselves were relatively quiet. As usual they were dominated by coot and tufted ducks but I got a clear shot of a pochard too.
On an island on one of the lakes I spotted a pair of the local Egyptian geese population- these are non-native birds but can often be seen at Blashford.
Another non-native bird is the Great White Egret but Walter is a regular Winter visitor. He was looking as splendid as ever today. You can see the red ring on his leg which identifies him.
An unexpected bird from today was this blurry dunlin. Whilst not rare or unusual they are not a bird I’ve seen at Blashford before- they are usually found closer to the coast.
Cormorant numbers seem to have risen somewhat since my last visit with the trees full of them and constant fly-overs.