Thursday, 20 December 2007

Frozen at Sand Bay and a Peregrine

Needing to de-stress myself from the madness of Christmas I thought I'd have half an hour at Sand Bay before work, doing my usual stationary watch over the Reserve, even though the tides were not good. The sea was out there somewhere apparently.

An absolutely freezing day, so cold in fact the sand had frost on it. Quite quiet bird wise, 1 Long Tail Tit, 4 Magpie, 10+ Curlew, 20+ Shelduck, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Black Backed Gull, 2 Herring Gull, 1 Chaffinch, Female Stonechat, Male Blackbird, half a dozen Starlings, 1 Collard Dove, 1 female Kestrel. Just before I left a mixed finch flock rose out of the reeds and settled on the bushes. I was pleasantly suprised to see this was a Greenfinch, Siskin, Chaffinch and Linnet Flock, with about 10 of the birds being Siskin, which whilst not unusual, their preferred food is not readily available in Sand Bay. I need to spend more time on these finches as there are Brambling in the area, but I never see them.

And that wasn't the end of the story. Having driven to Bristol and whilst sitting in the queue to cross the Clifton Suspension Bridge, I saw a pigeon out of the corner of my eye flying at great speed, followed closely behind by one of the Gorge's Peregrines in classic "anchor" silhouette. It may have been a very brief view, but made my day.

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