Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Home Patch Revisited - 9th October 2014

Over the EID celebrations in KSA I decided to return to the UK for a couple of weeks to attend to some personal matters.  While there I had the chance for two relatively short outings , one in and around Colne in Lancashire and the second close to London, but more of the latter in another blog.

My walk around Colne was a familiar one along Colne Water to the bridge near Wycoller along the Ferndean Way

All along the walk there was the rattling sound of the many Magpies which are resident in the area.  At this time of year the majority of these can be found feeding in the fields either singly or in small groups.

At the bridge on Coal Pit Lane I stopped to do a little river watching and noticed the resident Dipper hunting in its own unique way.

white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus)
They stand on rocks in the stream and watch for movement under the water bobbing up and down. As far as I know it has never been established why they do this bobbing but perhaps it helps them see into the reflective water.

white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus),
On spotting something they either dive straight in or stick their head under water to get a better look.
Heading away from the river up the lane I followed the pathway across some fields and spotted a number of Great and Blue Tits but only managed to get a usable photo of this little Blue Tit today.

blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus or Parus caeruleus)
The woodland area was very quiet today so I passed along out on the the Trawden road heading for Ball Grove.  In the fields by the river I noticed this Grey Heron, the first of 5, I saw on my walk.  Most appeared to be young ones and later, on my way back, I got to within 10 or 15 ft of one who watched me intently but never moved.  This was somewhat similar an experience as Rob Tovey and I had with a young Purple Heron in Al Hayer, in that case we could almost have touched it.

grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

In many of the fields searching for food were the Carrion Crows which were behaving much like Blackbirds, standing and listening for a bit then pouncing on whatever it was they found.

carrion crow (Corvus corone)

I continued along to Ball Grove Pond and, as always, there were the usual collection of Mallards.

mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Female

mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Male

and the occasional Common Moorhen

common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Also flying about were quite a few of the Black Headed Gull, minus the black head at this time of year

black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

At the second pond along this walk I noticed another regular of the riverside, the Grey Wagtail.  I expect I will be seeing these guys pretty soon in Saudi on their way south for the winter.

grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
As always when home life interrupted my visit and I headed home after a couple of hours walk.  One really interesting thing I did hear from a fellow birder was that a Green Woodpecker was seen recently above the second pond at Ball Grove.  These are not uncommon in the UK but I don't know of any being in our area.  Something to be on the look out for in the future.

Species List.


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