Friday, 11 February 2022

0938 : Light On The Horizon.

It has been a while since I last posted an update on my bird (and other wildlife) sightings during my walks to and from work. Christmas Eve was the cut-off point for that post, meaning there is the last week in December, the whole of January and the first two weeks of February to feature in this latest round-up. Given the time of year, it has been rather mild, though quite windy for almost the whole time with very little frost, ice or snow and even the rainy days have been relatively few and far between. For around the first half of the time period covered in this post there wasn't much that resembled daylight. Thankfully, things have improved as the days have lengthened with sunset now arriving after I reach home, meaning that I've been able to see some birds on the walk home, rather than mostly relying on my ears in the mornings.

Pink Footed Goose

To allow some of my colleagues to be able to take time off between Christmas and New Year, I agreed to work on what would usually be my day off, Wednesday, the 29th of December. A Peregrine flying in to roost was the main highlight as I left work that day, with Redwing and a Fox sighting in the morning also being worthy of note. A total of 10 species were noted that day but had dropped by 2 on the Thursday. Another Fox sighting and Redwings calling were the best I could manage. Things improved on the 31st with another welcome early finish from work meaning that the total for the day was a much higher than usual 18. Black Headed and Common Gulls were seen at the football pitches and Song Thrush, Redwing and Stock Dove were also recorded to close 2021's efforts.

My first day back at work in 2022 was on Thursday the 6th when a rather low total of 9 species were noted of which Goldcrest was as good as it got. On the Friday, there were 10 species on the list of which Oystercatcher and Redwing were the most interesting. Monday the 10th produced 11 species with Long Tailed Tits and Redwings the highlights. I was able to add a year-tick (and Dundee 2022 tick) on the 11th with a Tawny Owl heard calling near the bridge at Balgay Hill in the morning. A Fox was spotted using the thermal imager in the cemetery and Redwings were heard as I neared work. On Thursday the 13th the total crept up to 14 species. Oystercatcher, Stock Dove and Redwings once again were those species worth mentioning. On Friday the 14th, Redwing and Oystercatcher were the best among the dozen species noted.

On Monday the 17th, the Tawny Owl was heard again in the morning at Balgay Hill. An Oystercatcher was heard near the Law and a Black Headed Gull was seen around sunset as I left work. The weather was poor on Tuesday the 18th and it was a struggle to even hear much though a skein of Pink Footed Geese on the way home did provide something noteworthy among the very low total of just 8 species. Black Headed Gull and Tawny Owl again were noted on Thursday the 20th among the dozen species seen or heard that day. There was useable light for most of my journey home on Friday the 21st which helped me reach 19 species. Best of all was a Goosander over Byron Street on the way home, though Tawny Owl, Pink Footed Geese, Sparrowhawk and Stock Dove did all provide some nice variety along with an Oystercatcher heard calling in the morning darkness.

The following week kicked off with 20 species being noted on Monday the 24th. Best of these were Black Headed and Common Gull as well as Oystercatchers at the football pitches, plus Pied Wagtail and Pink Footed Geese elsewhere. Although I managed a total of 14 species the following day, only Black Headed Gull was sufficiently interesting to warrant a mention. On Thursday the 27th of January the numbers crept back up to 18 species. Greenfinch, Oystercatcher, Redwing and Siskin being the most interesting of those noted. Oystercatcher and the Balgay Tawny Owl again were the pick of the bunch from 14 species on Friday the 28th.

I used up a few day's annual leave at the start of February and an appointment on Thursday the 3rd of February meant a walk to work in daylight as well as on the walk home. A total of 26 species were seen or heard with plenty of interest scattered through those of which Black Headed Gull, 2 Buzzards, Jay, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pied Wagtail, Redwing, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk and Stock Dove were easily the best. Getting 3 species of raptor on a work day is in itself not a particularly common happening. Things were a bit quieter the following day though once again Peregrine, Redwing and Oystercatcher were all noted among the 17 species recorded.

While using the thermal imager to pick out a Fox going away from me on the football pitches at Balgay on the morning of Monday the 7th, a second, much closer, Fox walked through my field of view then crossed in front of me as I entered the gate into the park. Greenfinch, Oystercatcher and Siskin were the best of the birds noted among 18 species seen or heard. Peregrine was seen on the way into work, as well as on the way home in the same spot with Oystercatcher and Pink Footed Geese being the best of the rest among the 16 species noted on Tuesday the 8th. The Peregrine was once again noted roosting early on the 10th, with a singing Greenfinch and a flock of around 30 rather wary Oystercatchers at the football pitches being the main highs among the 17 species found that day. Best of the bunch of the 22 species found on Friday the 11th were Bullfinch, Buzzard and some reasonably good views of a Fox at Balgay Hill.

In the period covered in this post I managed to see or hear a total of 36 species of which one (in bold) was new for my 2022 list and my Dundee 140 list. Hopefully, as the year progresses more species will be added on the walk to/from work. In 2021 which was my first full year of walking to/from work I recorded a total of 67 species whereas in 2020 I recorded a total of 63 species between March and the end of December. Overall between the two years a total of 73 species have been seen or heard. It would be good to add a few new ones to that list and fingers crossed that with a bit of luck will happen. All photos in this post are older photos.












Pied Wagtail


Feral Pigeon

Song Thrush


Blue Tit



Herring Gull


Black Headed Gull



Coal Tit


Birds - Blackbird, Black Headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pied Wagtail, Pink Footed Goose, Redwing, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Mammals - Fox.

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