Natural History Diary : December 2018
Tuesday 18th December
Two Common Frogs were out and about in the garden this evening.
Sunday 16th December
After yesterday's cold and wet weather, conditions were better this morning so I ventured down to Thrupp Lake. There wasn't a lot along Thrupp Lane until I reached the horse paddock field opposite the farm buildings. Here there were two Buzzards on the ground, along with two Mistle Thrushes, a Song Thrush and six Redwings.
The usual residents were on Thrupp Lake, but there weren't many Tufted Ducks, Wigeon or Shoveler. There were at least twenty pairs of Gadwall, though. Other species were a Kingfisher, a Grey Heron, four Pochard, a Common Gull and a Little Grebe. I saw a large Pike in the shallows by the bridge in the NW corner of the lake.
On the way back up Thrupp Lane I counted at least thirty-five Jackdaws in the horse paddock field.
Gadwall, Thrupp Lake, 16-Dec
Pochard, Thrupp Lake, 16-Dec
Common Gull, Thrupp Lake, 16-Dec
Gadwall | Thrupp Lake Pochard | Thrupp Lake Common Gull | Thrupp Lake
Pike | Thrupp Lake
Saturday 15th December
This morning a Mistle Thrush flew into a tree near my house. I can't recall seeing a Mistle Thrush near the house before.
Thursday 13th December
There was a Long-tailed Tit and two Robins in the garden this morning. One Robin chased the other off.
In the afternoon I went back to Buckland Warren, and this time managed to locate Common Crossbills and Siskins feeding in the larch trees at about SU339960. They were quite mobile, and being high up in the trees, pretty hard to photograph. I did get some decent views through the scope, though. I also saw a Marsh Tit. Eventually the Crossbills and Siskins were forced off by a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. On the way back to the car I spotted a Raven perched in a pine tree.
Common Crossbill, Buckland Warren, 13-Dec
   
Common Crossbill | Buckland Warren    
Tuesday 11th December
Today's sunshine enticed a Drone Fly to do a bit of sunbathing in the front garden. It became a useful test subject for my new macro lens.
Drone Fly, Abingdon, 11-Dec
   
Drone Fly | Abingdon    
Sunday 9th December
I visited Farmoor this afternoon. The usual residents were on the water. I counted at least 75 Cormorants and four Little Grebes. There were lots of Fieldfares and Redwings in the Hawthorn and Cotoneaster bushes along the river. The feeders at Pinkhill were quite busy with Blue abd Great Tits, three Reed Buntings and two Chaffinches (but there was no sign of any Water Rails). On the way back to the car I saw a Herring Gull perched on raft. The gull roost on F1 looked quite big. Most were Black-headed, but there were also some Lesser Black-backed and a Greater Black-backed there as well.
Little Grebes, Farmoor, 09-Dec
Blue Tit, Farmoor, 09-Dec
Herring Gull, Farmoor, 09-Dec
Little Grebes | Farmoor Blue Tit | Farmoor Herring Gull | Farmoor
Sunday 2nd December
Four Fieldfares were eating hawthorn berries at the allotment this morning.