January flocks

January 9, 2011

Clear skies and a starlit night are followed by four degrees of frost.  The Bure has returned to a reasonable flow after being starved of supply during the cold snap.

A morning stroll by the river merely serves to emphasise the flocking behaviour of birds at this time of year. Virtually everything we see is clustered in a flock; Woodpigeon, gulls, Starling, Jackdaws and Mallard. Small flights of Teal circle nervously and head off for quieter areas.  The only exception being a solitary Great Crested Grebe which was fishing near Burgh Mill; a Grebe in it’s dowdy Winter garb – just passing through.  I am happy to note the lack of Cormorants today – in my view an unwelcome guest in the area – their fishing puts such pressure on stocks.

Neil talks of Otter sightings. The signs are there, fishy spraint and what I like to imagine are mud slides into the river, but once again the short day length cuts down the chances of a proper sighting. Clumps of Blackthorn near the river provide ideal cover.