Sunday, November 09, 2003

Readying myself to leave to watch my kid brother Martyn play footie for Netherton Kestrels, through the kitchen window the shape of four swans were visible in the back fields. Having never seen a Mute Swan in the fields here (only ever seen fly-overs), I grabbed my 10+15x Duovids and cranking them up to 15x was gazing at my 90th garden tick - four Whooper Swans!

Bloody fantastic. When I moved into the cottage in November 2002, I set myself the ambitious target of seeing 90 species in or from the garden in my first year. With the first anniversary around the corner, I was beginning to think that I was going to find myself one short! But no, the Whoopers make it 90, and my next goal is to see just how long it takes me to get to 100 species which obvsiously now within reach as I have seen 15 species within a mile or so of the house which must all be contenders for the garden.

Back from watching Martyn and his team get beat 4-0, I spent the day watching Premiership footie and working on the website. The garden was relatively busy with Tree Sparrows, Sparrowhawk and Yellowhammers all present again. Just along the drove from the house I again saw the Buzzard which appears to be using the copse by Bedford's Barn Farm as its roost and cover site.

Between the L'pool/Man U and Chelsea/Newcastle games, I spent an hour wandering around the fen. Birds had either already headed off to roost or were heading that way. Streams of gulls were heading over towards their Fletton BP roost, and the Starlings were swirling around. I put up four Grey Partridge and a couple of Snipe from one field, but the highlight(!) was only my third fen record of Canada Goose! Yep - with only one sight and one heard (in fog the other night) record, the 75 I had heading NE over the fen towards the Nene corridor was only the third record in nearly 12 months.

Back at the house I decided to look at the Great Fen Project website, and boy! When finished, its NE section will incorporate part of the old Whittlesey Mere site which lies adjacent to Farcet Fen! I can walk over to the old Whittlesey Mere fen from the house (and frequently do) so when the Great Fen Project is finished, I hope to be able to cycle from the house all the way to Woodwalton Fen without the need to go along any roads! Brilliant.

Sat, 8 November 2003
With Brian Stone finding Black Redstart and Brambling at the Millennium Bridge at Northey, I decided to spend the morning birding this much neglected area. I chose to follow the Green Wheel Cycle Route from the bridge and east between Wash Northey and the King's Dyke brick works. Nothing outstanding but loads of birds - Fieldfares, Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits, tit flocks, Bullfinch - plenty of birds to look and sift through looking for that elusive scarcity.

Thr afternoon was spent witnessing my first POSH home win of the season as we put two goals past non-league Hereford in the FA Cup.