Mar 4, 2009

Putting the old garden list to bed.

I suppose a new house demands a new garden list and this should really be the order of the day. The last house was on the heather line and we were particularly fortunate to enjoy Mooreland species as well as a healthy raptor population. Looking back on it although I continually bemoaned the lack of garden birds we were fortunate to accrue a fairly interesting and enjoyable garden list over the last eight months. Some of the highlights have been Siskins, Goldcrests and a Cuckoo. The long staying Redpolls were lifers for me. The Wrens the Dunnocks and those three Blackbirds that hung around despite cats, dogs and hens were the only constant garden birds from start to finish. My first Red grouse and having them calling triggered by the cockerel crowing really hit the spot. There were Woodcock on four occasions and for seemingly the whole summer Snipe drummed over head unendingly. There was the day in day out thieving antics of the Hooded crows whilst over head ravens would call and tumble. Waders would be feeding in the fields when it was wet and soft enough. Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Curlew from time to time fed right up to the front door. There were a couple of surprises from Herrons lifting off in a panic from the duck ponds that left the heart in the mouth. Raptors were where it was at tho and truth be told it was a bit of a raptor fest. Hen harriers abounded along with Short Eared Owls. Both species would pass low over the house whilst quartering the valley. Peregrine also hunted the hills and fields although not appearing as regularly as the previous pair they did put on some fantastic displays and close views for us though. Sparrow hawks and Kestrels did well this year and were well represented as regular visitors. Even Merlin’s showed well with six or seven sightings. The couple of outstanding memories that are burned in deep must be standing watching a Merlin coming in across the paddock at docken top height and snatching a Stonechat and disappearing off with it with it so effortlessly. All right in front of me..thrilling!!. The number one has to be a female harrier teaching its freshly fledged youngsters to hunt with a half dead rabbit. They were lifting it into the air and dropping it, squabbling and making loads of noise enjoying the game while she quartered the valley keeping a weary eye on them. Once again it was all in front of me whilst all I had to do was just still in a little cover. Topstuff. I am one lucky mofo!. I will miss the place.

My garden list
• Black Headed Gull
• Chafinch
• Collared Dove
• Common Gull
• Cuckoo
• Curlew
• Dunnock
• Fieldfare
• Goldcrest
• Greater Blackbacked Gull
• Greenfinch
• Hen Harrier
• Heron
• Hooded Crow
• Kestrel
• Lapwing
• Lesser Blackbacked Gull
• Mallard
• Meadow Pipit
• Merlin
• Oyster Catcher
• Peregrine
• Pied Wagtail
• Raven
• Red Grouse
• Redpoll
• Redwing
• Reed Bunting
• Short Eared Owl
• Siskin
• Snipe
• Song Thrush
• Sparrow Hawk
• Starling
• Stonechat
• Swallow
• Twite
• Wood Pigeon
• Woodcock
• Wren

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