Thursday, 20 March 2008

A Right Poser

I had another ABB! day at Carsington this week. Pretty average event by our standards, by which I mean GREAT! Plenty of excited schoolchildren through, although many of them were dangerously obsessed with ticking off the birds on their list. It's a ragged road to go down kids, believe me!

Our bird list for the event included the Great Northern Diver (surely this bird has earned itself a pet name by now - 5 months into this year's stay and probably 6 last winter too!), Buzzard, Raven, Kingfisher, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Lapwing, Little Owl (the pair cosying up together, aww...), Kestrel, Bullfinch and notably a lost Pink-footed Goose with the resident feral Canadas and Barnacles, among the regular characters. Reports of Sand Martin arrivals also came in with a reliable recording of 2 birds, and I enjoyed a nifty Chiffchaff giving himself away with an unmistakable call that really jolly well announces the beginning of spring.
Those first few Sand Martins may provide that unlikely possibility this weekend of the sight of hirundines skimming over fields of snow, weather which should push them back south again.

Special mention goes to the Robin (pictured), so disregarding of my presence I could flip to the macro function on my camera.
I was reading recently that catholic as the Robin's diet is, with a great range of berries, seed and kitchen scraps taken in winter, they still require invertebrates during the season and would perish without them. So in harsh weather, offering mealworms to your garden Robin could make all the difference. After all, you try searching out insects and spiders during the harshest weather of winter and discover how easy it is!

Some thumbnails of the red-breast...

Happy birding folks!

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