Thursday 8th December 2016.
Nearly the end of the working week and yet another weekend beckons. It has been very mild this week with temperatures reaching a balmy 10 degrees plus on most days, which is a tad warm for this time of year. I have been putting the moth box out most nights, but yet to have a single moth to show for it! Where as, a lot of my Facebook friends have been very successful, so I am quiet jealous at the moment.
Monday was very quiet regarding bird sightings but on Tuesday, I was working in the Hove area, helping out with another crew and so driving from my office at 7.20am to be there for 9am! Before I left the Hove office, a Black Redstart flew over but didn’t settle as it flew over the rooftops. Seconds later, I watched a Peregrine flying low over the rooftops heading westbound at some speed. On the way to Hove, both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen from the car as was a Common Buzzard that flew just feet away from my windscreen! I was stationary in traffic at the time and it felt I was watching the bird in slow motion as it flew in front of me then settled in a small orchard by the roadside.
On Wednesday, again all was fairly quiet but there were plenty of Goldcrests singing within the conifers of Portchester Crematorium. Maybe they were thinking that Spring had come early? December is not normally known for rarities turning up unless a real cold spell comes in. However, the UK held a first winter Killdeer in the Shetlands; 3 Eastern Black Redstarts, Isabelline Wheatear in Norfolk and incredibly, a Masked Wagtail in Wales. The Masked Wagtail is a sub-species of Pied Wagtail from Asia and possibly a first for the UK. And then these were all overshadowed by a first winter Dusky Thrush in Derbyshire. This bird has been vacating an orchard in a small village called Beeley and Hampshire birder, Nick Montegriffo kindly let my use one of his photos of the bird on my blog. Many thanks again Nick.
Today, both Green Woodpecker and a Jay were showing well within Milton Cemetery, Portsmouth, this morning and while driving between jobs, a couple of Kestrels were seen and a male Sparrowhawk was noted flying over North-end in Portsmouth. I shall be out and about tomorrow at work and so I wonder what tomorrow has in stall?