Garden Visitors and Other Nice Birds
Regular visitors to the garden lately include Siskins (at least four) and Bramblings (at least three) and increasingly healthy numbers of Greenfinches (highest count nine this month); a selection here of further Siskin photos below):
..and a (male) Greenfinch photo taken at the same settings as the two photos above, with no cropping, showing the vast difference in size:
The highlight on Saturday was two adult Mediterranean Gulls, one in full breeding plumage in a field near WWT Slimbridge, just over the canal bridge on the right, and another with a less developed hood turned up on South Lake during the morning (below).
The female LESSER SCAUP and one of the drake Greater Scaups were on the Rushy and there was a good selection of wildfowl and waders around the hides, with the Black-tailed Godwits being my first of the year.
A trip to Highnam Wood with Andy on Sunday morning produced two drumming LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS; this was in the area where the public footpath runs above the old pinetum. After hearing it calling, one bird gave extended passages of drumming, competing with the much louder Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the area, and we also heard a second lesser drumming from deeper into the woods in response to the first. A Roe Deer came fairly close a couple of times, keeping an eye on us before deciding to carry on. A couple of Ravens were very vocal nearby as was a calling Stock Dove, but a Skylark in full song above the woodland was a surprise. A Marsh Tit at the feeders was another year tick.