Thursday, 18 February 2016
Go Wild in the Country
A quirky day out with highlights coming from naturalised species that couldn't be viewed more differently by birders. Off fen, an early spring trip to the woods means the mighty Goshawk is calling. We saw 3 today, 2 males that soared and tussled over several protracted flights at a traditional spot. The third was a huge female that glided over us low at Lynford Aboretum. Having gained height she started an impressive stooping and elastic winged display as she drifted higher and away. We didn't find any Hawfinch but there were plenty of Siskin and woodland treats in the form of Marsh Tit and Nuthatch. A few Goldcrests were singing but there weren't any Firecrests on territory as yet, a few weeks time and I'm sure they'll be shaking their songs out at all the usual spots. A tiny pond at Brandon CP held around a dozen gaudy Mandarin. As with the Goshawk, these birds UK population is sustained from stock originally escaping captivity or deliberately released. Unlike the Goshawk, the Mandarin has never existed rrhere naturally and affords a status with birders alongside the Parakeet and just above the Peacock. Nonetheless we snapped away at these beautiful, seasonally arboreal, duck and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.