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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hawfinch at Maxey

© Kevin Durose
At least three Hawfinches were seen in late December, two at Ferry Meadows CP and this male at Maxey. This is an unusual abundance of the birds compared to recent years, perhaps reflecting the recent national influx of the species.

Kingfisher at Ferry Meadows CP

© Kevin Durose

Monday, December 26, 2005

Red-breasted Merganser

© Will Bowell
Above all other sites in the PBC area, Deeping Highbank has attracted the most Red-breasted Mergansers, and occasionally even attracts small groups. This bird found by Mike Weedon, was typically skittish and was flushed regularly by passing cars.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Little Egret at Baston/Langtoft GP

© Josh Jones
There seems to be a growing trend of Little Egret records in the winter in the PBC area.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Mealy Redpoll at Baston/Langtoft GP

© Josh Jones
Mealy Redpoll, or Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) as it is formally known by the BOU, is a rare winter visitor to the PBC area with most records coming from Woodwalton/Holme Fen area where it is a near annual visitor. Most Redpolls you are likely to encounter in the Britain are Lesser Redpolls (Carduelis carbaret) which appear browner than their pale continental cousins.

“Mealies” often appear quite bull necked and bulkier than Lesser Redpolls. Mealy Redpolls also sport white wing bars rather than the buff brown tones of Lesser Redpolls, there are however variations in both species which can cause confusion. Mealy Redpolls also have a pale, streaked rump with white markings often creeping up the back; male Mealy Redpolls also seem pinker on the breast than male Lessers.

At least four Mealy Redpolls were present in a flock of Lesser Redpolls and Siskins just before Christmas at Baston/Langtoft GP as well as 3 currently at Woodwalton. There have been only a handful of records for the Deepings area in the past few years, with Baston Fen seeming an occasional favourite but one bird even turned up in a Deeping St James garden in 2004!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Red-crested Pochard at Ferry Meadows

© Will Bowell
Baston/Langtoft Gravel Pits has had a sustainable breeding population present for some years now, however they remain a rare visitor outside the Deepings area. Of course we can’t be certain where this pair of females have come from as there are several breeding populations to the south and west of our area, but at this time of year there is always the chance of genuine birds from the continent occurring.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Barnacle Goose at Ferry Meadows

© Brian Stone
We should now be able to 'tick' Barnacle Geese from the self-sustaining category C populations in Norfolk and Beds if they stray our way. Perhaps most PBC birds are from these sources?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Shag at Dog in a Doublet

© Brian Stone
The sluice at the Dog in a Doublet is the place to look for Shags or indeed most seabirds in the PBC area. Brian Stone was duly rewarded for heading out there this bitterly cold lunchtime, to check what may have drifted in on the strong northerlies. The brown plumage and pale-tipped wing coverts age this bird as a first-winter.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sparrowhawk in Peterborough

© Mike Weedon
This young bird consumed what appears to be a House Sparrow or Greenfinch (can anyone ID it from this leg?) at its leisure in Mike Weedon's West Town garden (or rather on next-door's netting to protect their figs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gadwall, Lynch Lake, Ferry Meadows

© Mike Weedon
Gadwalls (this is a drake) hang out with Coots, their favourite feeding partners, on this the smallest lake at Ferry Meadows.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Common Scoter at Ferry Meadows

© Brian Stone (click for larger pic)
Three female type Common Scoter on Overton Lake yesterday were replaced by eight on Gunwade Lake today. This normally coastal duck doesn't occur every year in the area and rarely stays long. Most are females or immatures so it was a treat to see an adult male with these.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Magpie in West Town, Peterborough

© Mike Weedon
Digiscoped in Mike Weedon's garden, where a pair were coming to peck at bread and take peanuts by the beakful.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Grey Plover at Deeping Lakes LWT

© Trevor Williams
This scarce bird for the Deepings area was found by Trevor Williams during his monthly 'duck count'

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Wheatear at Prior's Fen

© Mike Weedon
This Wheatear apparently equalled the latest in Huntingdonshire, after birds on 30.10.90 and 30.10.01, though a bird was at Eldernell on 28.10.02, so perhaps late October records aren't that rare.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Slavonian Grebe at Baston/Langtoft GP

© Josh Jones© Chris Orders© Will Bowell
An ace find from patch worker Josh Jones. This is the first for the pits since January 2000, which was typical winter record and a one day stayer, and is only the second in the past couple of years for the PBC area.

Marsh Tit at Woodwalton Fen

© Mike Weedon

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Rock Pipit at Dog in a Doublet

© Mike Weedon
There are many newly-laid rocks reinforcing the banks between the bridge and the sluice, making juicy habitat for this scarce migrant.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

White Stork at Maxey

© Josh Jones
This is the same individual which has been frequenting the Gunthorpe Road area since late August at least, and is believed to be a first winter.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

38 Knot at Deepings Lakes NR

© Kevin Du Rose

An unprecedented flock of this normally coastal wader species and surely a PBC area record count. They normally occur as singles and then perhaps only one a year!