Sunday 19th February 2017:
It was yet another dull, dreary day and I decided to walk a circuit around the upper common from lower Poolands car park. It was quite unproductive until I flushed 2 Meadow Pipits from amongst the vegetation in the clear felled area where the plantation used to be. The birds flew up into a nearby tree and I managed to get a few record shots. It was a pleasing year tick for the site.
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
The only other birds of note during this visit were 2 Siskin that flew over calling heading East.
Wednesday 22nd February 2017:
Today's weather: Dull, overcast with light drizzle turning to heavy rain (how I long for Spring). I undertook a walk around the lower common from the car park opposite Cook's and weather aside it was a fairly productive visit. The undoubted highlight was seeing a Common Snipe flying across The Bog. It gave good binocular flight views showing prominent white trailing edges of wings as it flew low from the middle area to the rear of bog, making its flight call before dropping down between the tussocks and out of sight. Another year tick for the site from a species I genuinely wasn't expecting to get there.
Also during the walk I came across some lovely patches of Snowdrop in bloom and recorded another fungi for the year list in the shape of Glistening Inkcap.
Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)
Glistening Inkcap (Coprinus micaceus)
Friday 24th February 2017:
I commenced today's visit to the common by walking the wooded western edge of The Bog. My hope was that I could scan across and view some of the wet boggy areas at a better angle to try and perhaps pick up a Common Snipe or even a Jack Snipe (well you never know). Of course Snipe being Snipe they picked up on me walking the fringe of The Bog and I actually flushed three of them. With loud alarm calls and zigzagging flight they were off (most likely to the nearby Wilden Marsh). Still, 3 Common Snipe was much better than I had hoped for. I will be keeping an eye on this area over the next few weeks.
Also of interest birdwise was a ♀ Great Spotted Woodpecker in the wooded area next to The Bog. 3 Common Buzzards and a ♂ Sparrowhawk were up soaring over the common.
I also added an invert to the year list in the form of a 7-spot Ladybird which I discovered on one of the Gorse bushes.
♀ Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
7-Spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata)