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February 2007

1st - A female Blackcap was seen in the bird bath this morning, and other birds seen in the garden today included a single Redwing in the Hawthorn, and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker. Indeed today was a very clement and spring like day.

2nd - The female Great Spotted Woodpecker again seen today, and the birds were singing really well today, especially the Greenfinches and Chaffinches. In the evening about thirty Lapwings drifted by the house, heading northwards.

3rd - A Honey Bee was seen amongst the Ivy today, no doubt looking for food, and woken up by the Spring like conditions today. Also seen today were lots of Ladybirds amongst the leaf litter, and a pregnant Common Frog was also uncovered at the front of the house.

4th - Five male Blackbirds were seen together in the garden today, and a couple of Wrens were seen displaying at one another.

Far Ings Reserve - Went over to Lincolnshire this morning where we enjoyed a good bit of birding. Wildfowl around in good numbers and diversity, with thirteen species noted, including some Ruddy ducks, and a Goldeneye. A Marsh Harrier was also seen, and in the car park we observed a Willow Tit. Also in the local scrub were good numbers of winter thrushes, and there was also a singing Mistle Thrush too. Over forty six species seen.

5th - The female Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen today, and in the garden over twenty five species were spotted.

7th - A Goldcrest was seen taking a bath today, and five male and four female Blackbirds were counted in the garden. Greenfinches & Chaffinches also about in good numbers, with eight Chaffinches, and twelve Greenfinches. A sharp frost overnight with a low of -4 C.

8th - A spell of wet snow in the morning, giving a slight slushy covering. Melting by the end of the afternoon.

11th, Watton Lagoons - Visited Watton again this morning, and it didn’t disappoint again. We had feared it would be difficult to get to after all the recent rain but the mud wasn’t actually all that bad. However all the local rivers and drains were high, and the pumping station was working today. Indeed there was quite a bit of birdlife on the river itself, with a few Tufted ducks & Goldeneyes seen. At the reserve proper highlights included two Pink footed Geese, one Barnacle Goose, a dozen or so Goldeneye, and one male Smew. In total fourteen species of wildfowl were spotted. Twenty or so Curlews were also recorded, and out in the fields some Stock doves were also noted. Winter thrushes in the scrubs and hedges, where Goldcrests & Bullfinches were also seen. In total fifty species were recorded, a great morning. We also left a logbook behind in the hide and it will be interesting to see how often it is used.

17th, Watton Lagoons & North Cave Wetlands - Went to Watton this morning, but compared to recent visits it was much quieter. However forty six species were still seen, including highlights such as a lone Pink footed Goose, a Goldeneye, a couple of Oystercatchers, twenty or so Curlews, a Kingfisher, and winter thrushes. From Watton we drove westwards to North Cave, and along our route we saw a Buzzard, and good numbers of Yellowhammers. At North Cave observations there were further sightings of Goldeneyes, six Oystercatchers, as well as new species such as six Great Crested Grebes, and good numbers of Tree Sparrows. At North Cave a total of forty species were recorded, and for the day we saw fifty six species.

22nd - Two dozen finches were seen in the Sycamores today. Next door the Copper Beech is just beginning to blossom.

25th - A pair of Bullfinches were seen in the Copper Beech this morning.

Huggatewold Wood & Millingtondale - Went to see the Snowdrops this morning, where the flowers are at their peak. A fantastic sight, with the year now on the turn. In the hedgerows Yellowhammers were singing, and up on the Wolds the Skylarks were in full song. Two Roe deer were also seen in the wood, and another was later seen in the dales.

26th - Fifteen Crows were in the Sycamore at one point today, and the Magpies were seen building their new nest in the same tree as well.

27th - Heavy rain this morning.

28th - Yellowhammer’s were heard singing in the Parks this morning. I also noticed a new Barn Owl Box has been put up at the end of Old Hall Hedge. In the local hedgerows the Blackthorn blossom is just starting to appear. In the garden the Yew trees are now pollinating.