Monday, December 24, 2012

What’s The Excuse Today?

It’s getting to be a bad habit, this posting news a day late. So here is Sunday’s post with no justification unless a pre-Christmas haircut is a good enough reason? 

While I didn’t see a great number of species yesterday I did see many birds, if that makes sense. The job in hand was Out Rawcliffe, and where hoping for a dry and less windy spell of weather fit for ringing soon, I topped up the bird feeders and scattered a little mixed seed so as to keep the birds interested. All this wet weather has severely limited any opportunities to catch Bramblings as I did almost two weeks ago - And There's More  or Beasts From The East

The most interesting sighting on Sunday consisted of two large Chaffinch flocks, one of 300+ birds, the other of more than 200, the two flocks some three quarters of a mile apart. It could be that the huge flock of 700/800 Chaffinches I saw on 5th December had split up, both groups going their separate ways for now. In with the first flock were a minimum of 15 Brambling, and a further 8/10 Brambling in the smaller flock, but it is very difficult to get close to these big mixed flocks with so many pairs of eyes watching for danger. 

Chaffinch

Brambling

There’s still a flock of circa 30 Goldfinches, often in a nearby garden, sometimes on my few Nyger feeders, whereas I haven’t seen or heard a Linnet for months. The same garden holds a couple of Reed Buntings, several Tree Sparrows, a regular Mistle Thrush and always a Great-spotted Woodpecker - not your average garden selection. Counting the garden birds and other sighting led to a total of 18 Reed Bunting and 40+ Tree Sparrow. 

Goldfinch

Reed Bunting

The huge flocks of Woodpigeons were still around, scattered far and wide through the woods and mosses, constantly on the move and just like the finch flocks, there are many pairs of eyes watching out for danger, especially with yesterday's 8,000+ birds.

Woodpigeon

A walk through and around a couple of woodland plots found a Woodcock, 2 Jay, 4 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Buzzard and 2 Kestrel, and in a really badly flooded field, 300+ Lapwings. 

Leaving the wood and on the way back to the car, and seconds before it disappeared behind a wood, I caught sight of the elusive and well-travelled Hen Harrier of recent weeks. It is a hard bird to pin down to one spot but appears to be the same as the Pilling Moss bird, and if so has a regular hunting circuit of some miles north, south, east and west of Lancaster Road. 

It’s 24th December, so that’s mine and I guess many other folks' birding done for a day or two? Never fear, Another Bird Blog will be back as soon as possible - join me then.

8 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Great pictures.. Congrat and Merry christmas..

eileeninmd said...

Phil, wonderful sightings. The Chaffinch and Brambling are beautiful. And great capture of the Woodpigeons, did something startle them? I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Kay L. Davies said...

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, Phil, and a whole new year of happy birding.
All the best from our house to yours,
K

Russell Jenkins said...

I don't think I've ever seen such large flocks of passerines. Should help the raptors out a little. Merry Christmas. Some great photos as usual.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Hello Phil,estupendas capturas.Un abrazo

Choy Wai Mun said...

Nothing like a good outing just before the celebrations. Merry X'mas, Phil.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Brambling is really gorgeous Phil. I guess a haircut is good enough reason, for being tardy...I have so many excues, I am feeling very guilty, but those reasons...I would do anything to make it all better...it is all going to work out now;')~

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Better late than never! Wonderful pics. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

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