I'm pleased to report that the plumber was 'ace' yesterday so plenty of hot water on tap once more ..... so thanks Kevin. He also shares an interest in birds so I was able to help identify a raptor species he had seen recently while watching a Ring-necked Parakeet eyeing up the feeders in our garden.
With a very cold easterly wind and overcast sky I only managed an hour circumnavigating the 'Great Pond' on the patch around midday today. While driving towards the car park I spotted 5 raptors very slowly circling over the woodland ... obvious shape suggested Common Buzzard but one individual definitely had much longer wings and a more languid, slower wing beat. I was in a long queue of vehicles so couldn't stop at the roadside and by the time I had parked up they had disappeared eastwards so any positive ID goes unanswered!
One of the Canada Geese is always on sentry duty while its partner has a preen.
The visit didn't lead to any new sightings and the lighting across the water didn't help my photography efforts but I took a few shots of the Mandarin Ducks as they came a little bit closer than normal. Today there were six males but only one of the two females I have seen recently on view. Well at least the female was getting plenty of attention.
Him and her playing follow the leader.
The list for today as follows:
Mandarin Ducks (6F and 1F);
Tufted Duck (now a pair on the pond so we may see a repeat of last years breeding);
Mallard (6), Coot (1), Moorhen (2), Canada Geese (6), Grey Heron (1);
Common Buzzard (5), Kestrel (1), Sparrowhawk (1) disrupting the local Woodpigeons;
Carrion Crow, Magpie, Blackbird, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff (3) and Blackcap (1).
We are entertaining Anita's parents tomorrow so may not have time for a patch visit! FAB.