I had great plans today, the weather was perfect and my surveys would be finished by early afternoon. I had a survey in North Lincolnshire this morning so I thought I’d try and have another look at the South Ferriby Rough-legged Buzzard on my way home. However as I was driving the Landover down the A15 there was a sudden smash and the next thing I knew I was getting showered in glass! A huge rock had either been flicked up by a truck or had come off the top of one and put a huge hole in my windscreen! I wasn’t injured just a bit shaken but I knew straight away that my plans would be out the window (if you pardon the pun!). As it happened I got fairly lucky and the office managed to get someone out to replace the broken windscreen by 4pm and I was in a position to be able to carry on working which was useful. It was too late for the Rough-leg, but it did mean that I got to experience an incredible sunset (check out pictures here) and see 2 Barn Owl near home.
Another excuse to use this fantastic Rough-legged Buzzard photo (© Renton Charman 2010)
My (extended) survey was fairly uneventful. It was cold and crisp to start with but it gradually warmed up and even felt warm in the sun. It felt more like a spring day than a winter’s day with Skylark singing all over my site and a host of other species were singing too (Robin, Blackbird, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch etc). There was several flocks of Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting on the site, a gathering of almost 150 of these species (and Chaffinch) feeding on some spilt grain was impressive and good to watch – until a gas gun went off 6 ft behind me! Buzzards were very active today with 4 or 5 birds at least, thermalling, calling and displaying, likewise Kestrel. Waders seen included low numbers of Golden Plover and 350 Lapwing.
Although not an awful lot was seen today it was good to be out. I think today’s highlight was a Great Tit that started off by mimicking a calling Tree Sparrow and then went into a singing then alarming Blackbird!
I’m back down that way again tomorrow but probably won’t have time for the Rough-leg as I want to get back in time to try for the Wheldrake Gull roost or hit North Duffield Carrs.