Wildlife Blog Feb 2017
Sunday February 19th 2017
I managed to enjoy the best of the morning weather, with sunshine as I walked on to the hill and, although it eventually clouded over completely, it was warm and with no wind at all. As a result, it almost felt like Spring and indeed there were bunches of Daffodils just coming in to bloom. An Oystercatcher calling loudly overhead confirmed the seasonal change (and they are back on the Keir roundabout already), as did the increase in song. Tawny owls, one of the early breeders are very vocal at night on the hill, while down on the river another early nester, Dippers are also in full voice. That said, there were still skeins of Pinkfeet geese overhead and our winter thrushes are still around.
Anyhow, it was a very good total with 24 species and that despite some which had gone ‘missing’ – including both Great spotted woodpecker and Goldfinches, which were seen a few minutes later back across the Perth road in our garden! Nevertheless, the survey began with the unmistakable sound (a ‘yaffle’) of a calling Green woodpecker, only the second I have seen on the hill – I subsequently located it high in a Beech tree – and then a Red Kite drifting slowly overhead. The list of unusual birds continued with a male Pheasant feeding under the trees, though I have been seeing two different males this past two months in our garden under the bird feeders. Amongst the more usual residents that were singing, Stock Doves and Nuthatches were very vocal, as was a single Song Thrush. Blue tits were already in pairs, loudly chasing each other through the branches, and I located a pair of Treecreepers which, by comparison were extremely quiet. A couple of Redwings showed that winter has not yet left.
A pair of female Roe deer were standing out in the open in the Braeport meadow, and ignored me totally, being preoccupied grooming one another and watching a cat walking along the stone wall next to them with great interest!
Image: Wikipedia. “Green Woodpecker” Charles J Sharp, sharpphotography. CC-BY-SA-4.0