Dunham Massey 11.12.2018

Cold and overcast but gradually brightening

Over 20 TT Birders assembled in the main car park full of festive cheer.  After an informative and stimulating review of the past year by our supreme organiser Clive, we were keen to finish 2018 with a convivial and productive morning. The former proved easy to achieve but our feathered friends seemed initially not keen to play ball. As we walked from the car park and through the visitor centre towards the Hall, crow and jackdaw abounded with only sightings of 3 rose-ringed parakeet in treetops within the garden and of a pied wagtail on the roof of the stables block.

Arriving at the pond close to the Dunham Town entrance, we were diverted for a while by mute swan, mallard, tufted duck, coot and black-headed gull, but resuming our Park circuit along the Charcoal Road boundary continued to disappoint with the yacking of jackdaws taunting us about the paucity of other sightings. Undeterred we walked on through the plantations at the westen end of the Park and were finally rewarded with redwing in the treetops and a goldcrest flitting about in the dead bracken under the tree canopy. The gates in the western Park wall afforded views across the pasture of Home Farm but nothing more than crow and black-headed gull.  However careful examination of corvids in the boundary trees revealed the more tapering bills and white faces of rooks.

Returning along the track past the deer sanctuaries, we were delighted to spot a jay and then a flock of long-tailed tits in the nearby trees and then two treecreepers scurrying up and down separate trees. Passing the pond on our right we were delighted to espy two pair of shoveler and a gadwall amongst the mallard, moorhen and black-headed gull.

With our festive lunch beckoning at the Swan with Two Nicks, we descended to the track across to Little Bollington. To our right we were happy to see plenty of corvids, a flock of starlings landing on the pasture and a grey heron skulking in the stream. Then the advance party picked up a flock of geese beyond the field boundary to our left, mainly Canada geese interspersed by 3 greylag, and beyond a buzzard resting at the top of a hawthorn bush. So a smallish birding high before we enjoyed a very merry seasonal lunch in the pub to crown a very enjoyable and highly productive year.

And the group wishes a very merry Christmas to all our readers and supporters!



Bird list (MH)

  1. Rose-ringed parakeet
  2. Jackdaw
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Magpie
  5. Mallard
  6. Coot
  7. Moorhen
  8. Canada goose
  9. Tufted duck
  10. Black-headed gull
  11. Mistle thrush
  12. Robin
  13. Mute swan
  14. Pied wagtail
  15. Blackbird
  16. Wood pigeon
  17. Blue tit
  18. Nuthatch
  19. Goldcrest
  20. Long-tailed tit
  21. Starling
  22. Rook
  23. Jay
  24. Tree creeper
  25. Shoveler
  26. Common buzzard
  27. Gadwall
  28. Great tit
  29. Chaffinch
  30. Grey wagtail
  31. Greylag goose
  32. Grey heron
  33. Fallow deer

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