Saturday, 24 March 2012

Merlin: Another good garden bird.

Was out surveying near Beverley this morning, highlight of the survey was a Peregrine that flew through. A flock of Gadwall sat out feeding in a field like Wigeon was a bit interesting, never seen Gadwall that far out of water before, there was about 20 of them too!

On the way home I called into my new 'local-ish patch' briefly and was rewarded with lots of patch ticks - not too difficult as this was only my second visit! Highlights here included: 2 Green Sandpiper, Shelduck, Teal, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, 2 Snipe, Bullfinch, 2 Grey Heron, 2/3 Chiffchaff, lots of Yellowhammer and Linnet, quite a few Buzzard and a range of the more common birds. I'm going to enjoy this site I think.

Green Sandpiper - Photo Chris Gomersall

Back at home in the afternoon I was sat working at my desk and like yesterday my phone rang. As I turned to pick it up I was aware of a smallish raptor heading straight towards the house about 60m away. I grabbed my bins and got straight on it - female/1st winter type Merlin! I watched it in the bins as it went right over the house, a quick dash to the front bedroom and I was on it again as it shot across into the arable land the other side of the house. This is my second record of Merlin from the garden. The first was a bird that flew straight through the garden - again when I was on the phone - back in December 2010 when we'd just moved in.

Interestingly, 'on this day last year' I had the first York Recording Area (and possibly Yorkshire too) record of House Martin over the garden! No sign today though! Tomorrow maybe....

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