Friday, 1 January 2010

2010 Begins on Patch

A jolly enough, but non communicative snowman

Killingworth Lake

1st Jan 2010. Despite the white out, I managed my annual New Year walk on patch and in fact the newly fallen snow made for an easier trudge. With the snow shoes having been sent to the cobblers I had to make do with my boots! I’m wondering how many people have this first day of 2010 questioned the idea of global warming. My first foot in the garden was a Starling, followed quickly by Robin and Blackbird and once I had left the garden behind I have to say I didn’t see too much birdlife around the village area. I think there were as many snowmen (or should this be snowpersons in this age of sexual equality?) as birds around here. I photographed one particular smart looking snowman who seemed jolly enough, but lacked much in interpersonal skills. As I was admiring this gent a Sparrowhawk flew over the tree line. The only other bird life seen was corvids and Woodpigeons, so I thought it best to make for the lake.

Despite a bit of a thaw having set in, I can’t remember seeing the patch in such snow cover for many years. The smaller lake was a complete whiteout with only a couple of Black Headed Gulls flying over. Much of the larger lake was the same with a layer of snow lying on the ice. The birds had gathered at the far end of the lake where the ice had been broken an judging by the rising flocks were being well fed by passers by. Once I reached that end of the lake I found the mass collection of birds consisted of the following species, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Geese, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull and Herring Gull. The occasional Magpie flew overhead. It seems that the Goosanders have been forced to leave. I couldn’t find any Goldeneye either.

As the light started to dim large flocks of Wood Pigeon and smaller flocks of corvid, many of them calling Jackdaws, flew towards the roosting areas in Gosforth Park. It was quite atmospheric as I watched them fly over as several Mute Swans flew back and forth across the frozen lake below them. A Mute Swan left a trail in the snow as it landed and remained as a lonely looking figure on the snow and ice. As I made for home a small flock of Goldfinch appeared, the same flock perhaps that I had seen on the last day of 2009.
Well not many birds to add to my list, but I may add some more tomorrow as I am due to lead a walk around the patch. I wonder if anyone will turn up. Certainly looks like another cold night ahead.


  1. That fat bloke in your top photo? He's walking in the air, he is....