13 December 2009

Gotta be Linnet to Win It ;-)

Cool, clear and still today at Napton, with a classic haul of winter birds.

On the water there were the usual good numbers of coots, tufties, mallards, moorhen, mute swans and black-headed gulls, along with a a few common gulls, a couple of shovellers, five teal, a pair of gadwall and half a dozen wigeon.

Snipe flew in and out of the reed bed, still very evident with the low water levels, and 25 lapwing flew overhead towards the north.

But perhaps the main interest was around the edges, in the fields and hedges that surround this small reservoir. Still plenty of starlings, redwing and fieldfare of course, along with small flocks of finches (chaffinch, greenfinch and bullfinch on show today). Today's nice surprise was a pair of linnet. Although they are reputed to be common enough, I don't often get a decent view of them so every sighting is a welcome one.

Bird of the day: Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), a small, nervous finch which is hard to get close views of. It is still relatively common, but as with many farmland birds it is in steep decline and is therefore a conservation Red List species.

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