24 Mar 2014

24 March 14 - Birding Over The Border

While I was in India, a couple of Mealy Redpolls appeared at Blashford Lakes in the Avon Valley, which is just over the border in Hampshire. Quite a few local birders saw them about that time & after that the number of sightings reaching the pager dropped off & I never got around to making the trip to see them. Also, there is always that thought, if there are some on the Hants/Dorset border, then perhaps this is the winter when some will be pinned down in Dorset. Anyway, a recent report on the pager finally made me realise that they were still around & so I decided to head over there. Spent a couple of hours looking from the Woodland hide where small parties of Redpolls were being lured into with the promise of their favourite niger seed. Whilst, I had no joy with the Mealy Redpolls, there were good numbers of Redpolls, as well as a number of other common species to photograph. The woodland hide is a good trip providing you can get there & avoid the numbers of people who decend at the weekend, as there is a limited viewpoint for people with cameras.
Blue Tit
Chaffinch: Male
Chaffinch: Female 
Brambling: Male with black appearing around the face 
Brambling: The second male
Brambling: Female
Redpoll: Sexing Redpolls is difficult, but I think this is a male given the extent of the red & pink 
Redpoll: Another probably male
Bank Vole: They are superficially similar to a Wood mouse, but they are warmer brown, have shorter rounded ears, a broader head & a shorter, fatter tail 
Bank Vole: There were at least 3 close to the feeders
Grey Squirrel