Monday, 9 January 2017

The Longham Patch 2017

This year I was very unsure whether to still carry on with the Blog, but after reading Darren Jones Blog who is also Patch birding Longam Lakes again this year it inspired me to rethink and start it up again. Hopefully this year I shall have more or better pictures of the birds and events that take place over the course of the year.

Well the start of the year as not gone to plan so far as I am now laid up to 2 weeks after having an operation on Wednesday 4th to have my gallbladder removed so now I have four holes in my stomach which hurt quite a bit after coming round from the operation.

Luckily I got out to Longham on the 1st of January and had a good look round, I was not as early as I would of liked to have been but a 10 O'clock start was not to bad. One of the birds I was hoping to tick of straight away was the Great White Egrets that had been showing well through out November and December. I need not of worried as one of the first birds to be seen was one of the three Great White Egrets on the south shore of Longham North Lake all three were on this lake fishing in the margins I actually watch one catch a very decent sized perch.
Great White Egret
 I carried on up a long the course way stop every now and then to look across to the large island on South Lake through the gaps in the willow scrub. On the island i found Lapwings, Snipe and Teal as I walked the course way a Stonechat was seen working along the rough grass by the willow scrub.
On reaching the end of the course way I scanned back across the top of North Lakes were I found 13 Pochard and Great Crested Grebes. I looked over Hampreston Fields for Water Pipit by the small pool but could not seen any and over in the far fields for geese but the only geese I could find were Canada geese and 16 Greylag geese.
At this point I made the decision to go up the west side of South Lake and look along Samuel's Wood for Nuthatch and Treecreeper but I did not see any of those which is not surprising, as I have only seen one Treecreeper and no Nuthatch in the four years going to the patch with the last two years with regular visits to the patch. I did see a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker,
the Great Spotted Woodpecker being a site first for me and one bird I tried to get last year on patch but failed to do so.
After this I started scanning the gulls and wildfowl on the lake hoping for some unusual but the gull only came up with Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring and Black headed Gulls.
There was a good  mix of wildfowl out on the water like the Tufted Ducks, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, 18 Poachard ( giving a site total of 31) Shoveler and Mallard with a few Great Crested and Little Grebes.
One of the highlights of the day was watching a Water Rail run along the shore line  on the east shore  by the pump house. I rounded the day off with a look over the horse paddock on the east side by the start of the course way for Redwings but could not see any so had one last look at the majestic Great White Egret before leaving.
The list of birds seen on the1st January at Longham Lakes

Mute Swan
Greylag Goose
Canada Goose
Tufted Duck
Great White Egret
Grey Heron
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Water Rail
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Carrion Crow
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Song Thrush
House Sparrow
Meadow Pipit
Reed Bunting

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